When you started up your business, you probably had a vision or a dream of what you wanted to achieve. How far have you got in achieving that dream? Are you ready for your next challenge or do you need to work out how to get to that first milestone?
When you hear the words “Business Plan” you probably think about an annual document that gets put in a drawer and forgotten about until next year. A plan is more than a piece of paper. It sets up your goals for the next 3 months, 12 months, 5 years. It gives your business purpose and gives you something to work towards.
Too many businesses get stuck in the day to day running of the business, delivering the goods or services, doing the paperwork and dealing with employees. But as business owner you need to take a step back every 2-3 months to do a check on where you are heading.
So what does a business plan look like?
A business plan can be a multi page document, or it could be a single page. Either way, this is what you could consider:
- What is your core purpose/vision? Why does your business exist?
- What are the core values of the business? These are non negotiable and are rules to run your business by.
- What are your long terms goals (next 3-5 years)?
- What are your short term goals (next 12 months)?
- What are the next steps? What actions are you going to take to develop your business in the next 3 months?
Now that you have decided where you want to head, tell someone. Tell your husband or wife, your best friend, or your business advisor. Once you have told someone, you are now accountable to that person to achieve your vision.
Small business is hard and can be a lonely place. Having a business advisor to help you set your goals can make it an easier process, and regular check-ins can help you to see how you are tracking and give you someone to talk through your ideas with.
Once you have written your plan, revisit it every 2-3 months to update your next steps, and revise your goals if things have changed.