Many people who own businesses get very focused on what they're doing day to day and week to week but struggle to look beyond that.
But good business planning makes all the difference.
If you set good long and short-term goals, it will give you confidence and increase your chances of success significantly. That confidence isn't only limited to you but will also be shared with your bank, potential investors, staff, insurance company and lawyer. IF they know the plan they can give you solid advice to get there.
Planning simplifies your decision-making because you can look at each question you're faced with and ask yourself what will propel you closer to your goals. It also helps with your money management because you'll have an idea of what your cash flows should be doing over the long term, if they're not doing what they should be it's a stop check to see why.
If you're struggling to plan, there are a few things you can do.
Make it fun.
Sitting down with a piece of paper and commanding yourself to come up with some business goals is probably not very enticing. You might boost the appeal by booking a fun weekend away with your team to brainstorm and hash out where you want the business to be. There's a likely tax deduction here also.
A business mentor or adviser might be able to give you a perspective on your business that you can't see at the moment. Who in your sphere can help you with your plan or even give some direction. The accountant, bank and lawyer for a start. They're trained to get the information from you to put onto paper or in excel. Reach out and make use of the support services available to you.
Humans overestimate what they can do in a short period but underestimate what they can achieve over the long run. If you've got big dreams that seem impossible to achieve, set them anyway and then break them down into small steps to get you there. Thinking big reminds you of why you did it in the first place.
Plan for changes.
Even if you can't see them yet, there are undoubtedly changes ahead for your business. When you're planning, factor in a few "what ifs" and consider what you'd do if you were faced with a challenge you hadn't seen coming. What could you change and adapt and how quickly?
Don't plan alone. If you've developed a business plan, share it with your team and encourage their input and ideas. It's easier to stay motivated and on track if everyone can see where they are going.
Jeremy Tauri is an associate at Plus Chartered Accountants.