The importance of business planning
AS WE are approaching the end of another year on the Coffs Coast, I find myself reviewing our business plan for 2017.
Over the past two months some businesses have been re-evaluating 2016 results and preparing for what may happen next year.
Planning is a big part of ensuring that a business runs effectively, and is sustainable into the future. Preparing a business plan allows a business to:
- Set out business objectives and strategies.
- Plot progress against the business plan.
- Monitor and deploy resources.
- Inform employees of the direction the business is going.
- It becomes an important document for discussions with investors.
- Links in with set budgets and financial forecasts.
There are many different templates and models used out in the market place, but in general they essentially have similar guidelines to follow.
Starting with an Executive summary is important as this allows you to identify the business overall strategy and direction for the coming year.
It also gives you the opportunity to identify key assumptions as well as giving an over view of the financial projections. Secondly detailed links to the proposed budget and financial forecast follow on.
This could also include any capex expenditure that will be required during the next 12 months. Market performance / competitor analysis needs to be included to allow you to show strengths and weaknesses of your business as well as your competitors.
You need to set strategies that will give your business a competitive advantage over your competitors to ensure the businesses survival.
This will lead into the business plan outlining the businesses marketing strategy and which market segments are key to the business and need to be targeted.
This is an opportunity to look at all types of marketing including social media, digital marketing, print, radio and TV marketing. You may want to include departmental comparisons to show increases or decreases in business during certain periods of the year.
A cash flow is important to include showing financial forecasting during the coming year.
Finally it is always a good idea to include a section on Human resources outlining employee relations strategies, staff retention and turnover statistics, which can all lead to improved customer's service.
For more information on the Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce, to book in for one of our events or to enquire about a membership, phone 6651 4101.