Business development · 7 January 2019

Why the New Year means it’s time to refresh your business plan

business plan
As the new year begins, why not take time to look over your business plan?

A business plan is a document that managers use to help run their businesses; with 30% believed to grow faster as a result. It identifies any problems, sets out goals, measures progress and clarifies the business idea. So, as the new year begins, why not take time to look over your business plan? How can you make 2019 the year of success for your company?

  1. What are your current business visions, mission and objectives?

These are crucial tools for businesses. They set the tasks for the company to aim to meet. It is vital that each year, they are checked, to see if they are still in date and achievable. Goals must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time related), to be successful, as many theories suggest. Perhaps activities from the current year have meant the focus of the business has changed, or the current goals have already been achieved – what better time than now to review this and accordingly update?

Doing this will give you and your working teams better a better indication of the purpose of the business. It can be found to motivate and provide better performance.

  1. Review your staff

Are your employees being productive enough for what you need? Have you looked at the upcoming plans for the future – will more staff need hiring? Will some need firing? Are certain employees working less efficiently? Do job chats need to be conducted?

All of these questions need asking. In doing this, and gaining answers, you will have a better understanding of what needs to be done regarding staff – motivation, hiring, empowerment, firing – to assist your business in succession for the future year.

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How to produce a comprehensive and adaptable small business plan

While the multi-page document may be a thing of the past, having a small business plan for where you’re going is still invaluable.

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  1. Financial review

Perhaps the most important things to keep an eye on and review are your finances. Does the company have enough cash to be able to even trade in the next year?

If there are issues, or you believe struggles will arise, seek help. Get in touch with companyrescue.co.uk who can direct you to the right place, and help you meet your financial requirements.

It is better to acknowledge any shortfalls and prepare ahead now than be left short in the coming months, and left with no choice but to enter large debts or potentially look to insolvency proceedings.

What are your year to end figures looking like? Are you reaching profitability? Do you have a negative net profit? Are costs rising as revenues fall? Answering such questions can give a significant amount of information about your companies current and future performance – what is causing it to give such figures? Is it positive and so do resources need appreciating? Or is it negative and so resources need re-looking at.

  1. Bills and payments

At the start of the year, often bills are left to be paid. Additionally, some business payments may need renewal i.e. leasing contracts. Ensure you take time to look into this and pay everything up to date – it will save your back in the long run!

  1. Market insights

Markets today are constantly changing (industry dependent). Undertaking a SWOT or PESTLE analysis can really benefit your business. It allows you to see potential threats upcoming, as well as potential areas for opportunity to succeed. Beginning the year by doing this, allows you to prepare for what is coming in the new year, whilst reflecting on last year and perhaps where you failed to take the opportunity.  Monitoring moves of competitors will also leave advantages, as it means you can take this information to compete, hopefully leaving you as the successful market player.

Hopefully, you can take this advice on board and review your business plan – whilst business is generally quiet, use it to your advantage and make the New Year the year for you and your business.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Rebecca Dunne is the freelance writer for KSA Group, Licensed Insolvency Practitioners in the UK, established in 2000. KSA Group runs www.companyrescue.co.uk which contains over 2000 pages of useful information for struggling businesses.

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