Running a business without a business plan is like rock climbing blindfolded. Your chances of making it successfully to the top are slim. And the process will surely be a death-defying one.

A business plan is a step-by-step guide to running your business and creating a product or service that will make it successful in the marketplace.  You and your business plan must be flexible.  Your plan will need to be adjusted periodically depending on opportunities in the marketplace, the current health of your business etc.

Every business should have a plan.  It may be formal or informal, it does not matter so long as there is a plan.  For example, the fish-and-chip shop may not have formally written down the plan, but before setting up shop, a smart owner would have assessed the need for a shop in that area of town, the ability to attract clients there, the appropriate amount of stock to carry, the cost of utilities and the parking availability for clients etc.  The owner who waits to figure these things out using trial and mostly error will be lucky to be left with his/her wits, much less any customers.

A business plan minimizes risks and surprises.  Consider the following for inclusion in your business plan:

  1. A reasonable expectation of profitability and when?
  2. How will the business pay you and any team members?
  3. The estimated expenses?
  4. The pricing strategy?
  5. The need for what you are offering, and what profit margin can you expect?
  6. While much of this may have occurred to you, it is very important to write it down.

A documented plan:

  • Helps you determine and coordinate all aspects of business operations.
  • Gives you a means to analyse and determine what might be the best change to boost your business out of a stagnant situation.
  • Assists you in determining the risks and benefits associated with any changes.
  • Decreases your chances of making a mistake or not considering important factors in your business.
  • Increases your chances of success.

So, do you have a Business Plan?  If not, consider discussing the need with the team at Green Taylor Partners.

Small Business, Big Success

How a personal trainer transformed her business and increased her income.

Claire is a personal trainer with 20 years of industry experience.  Her personal training business was a great success.  There were many gyms competing in the area; but she had the clever idea, many years ago, to focus on a niche market of training pre- and post-natal women.

Problem

Twelve months ago, Claire decided to take the leap and grow her business.  She opened a second location.  Since that decision, Claire has been working long hours and, despite her hard work, her net income had declined.  Claire realized that her business wasn’t on track to allow her to reach her retirement goals.  She knew she had to find a way to grow her profits fast, yet had no idea how to generate more income without working even longer hours.  Claire was desperate and on the verge of burning out.

That’s when Claire turned to her Accountant for help.

Accountant’s Role

Claire’s Accountant conducted a survey on the strengths and weaknesses of her business by analyzing its current strategies, conducting interviews with customers and team members and reviewing cash flow and financial statements.  It became clear that, although Claire offered a great service, her current business tactics would not allow her to achieve her financial goals.

After revealing opportunities and recommending changes such as extending business hours, revising her product pricing strategy and shifting some management duties to a qualified and trustworthy professional, her Accountant was able to help Claire finally see real results. Her revenue began to soar.  Despite her fears, she did not receive a single complaint about changes to her pricing or personnel.  Fees were now charged in advance and clients were aware that there was now a cancellation policy that would be enforced.  The changes her Accountant helped produce also gave her more time for herself and to market her services.

Benefits for Client

In less than a year, Claire saw a 200% return on her investment in engaging her Accountant to assist and advise her.  More importantly, Claire also achieved work-life balance and a sense of security that retirement was achievable and her plans were on track.