In this sponsored post, chartered accountant GAIL FREEMAN talks business plans and strategies.
TRAN and Jan came to see me wanting to look at their business for the 2022 financial year, but uncertain about where to start.
“A business plan is a good starting place,” I told them.
“I use the Mindshop one-page plan, which is a straightforward way to collect all your thoughts; however, given the current covid situation, these are unpredictable and challenging times, and if you are looking at growing the business in the immediate future I’d suggest a different process.”
Jan said they had been thinking about growing the business, but with the covid uncertainty were unsure that was the right way to go.
I agreed it was a challenge at the moment, but that many businesses had pivoted and been very successful. I suggested they follow the process and see where it takes them.
“We start with a simple diagnostic which should take about five minutes to complete,” I said.
“You can either do this on your own or I can work with you. This will allow us to discover the strengths of the business and yourselves, which you can then build on to grow the business.
“It also looks at the vulnerabilities of the business while looking at your market, the environment and the success factors that relate to scaling up the business. As a result of this, you should be able to identify the issues and opportunities for your business in this growth phase.”
Tran said the one-page plan seemed like a good place to start, which would provide some clarity about what they both wanted to achieve.
“The one-page plan is based on the ‘now/where/how’ business analysis,” I said.
“We start with the ‘now’ analysis. We ask the question: ‘Where are you now?’ and we look at this in relation to the key elements of your business including sales, customers, products, and pricing. This provides a clear, current picture of the business.
“The next part of the analysis asks: where would you like to be in relation to the issues that you raised in the ‘now’ analysis in the future? So you could do a plan for 12 months, another for three years and another for five or whatever timeframes you choose.
“The analysis of ‘now’ and ‘where’ is not usually too hard or time consuming. If you wish you can involve your staff at this stage or you could just do it yourselves and involve the staff later.
“The hardest part is the ‘how’ analysis. This is where you set out the strategies that will help you move from ‘now’ to ‘where’. As you set out a strategy you also devise action plans that will help you achieve your goals and you also include who is going to be responsible for that action plan and the timing of when it will be done.
“The great thing about these one-page plans is that they can be updated weekly or fortnightly. You should also set in place some key performance indicators so that you can monitor your plans.”
Tran and Jan were pleased with the concept and said they were looking forward to starting the process.
This column contains general advice, please do not rely on it. If you require specific advice on this topic please contact Gail Freeman or your professional adviser.
Authorised Representative of Lifespan Financial Planning Pty Ltd AFS Lic No. 229892.
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