Other than a few doomsday preppers no one could have predicted the events of the year so far.
And as another financial year begins it’s fair to spend time reflecting on what we have been through but more important to consider what’s ahead. Although the reality is we don’t know.
Possibly the only thing we do know for certain is that many aspects of our business and personal lives may have changed forever, and if we aren’t honest about that as a starting point, then any planning we do will be worthless.
You might well be asking, what’s the point in planning given we don’t know what’s ahead?
Well in reality we never know, but the point of a successful business plan is that it focuses our activity and reduces distractions. This narrowed focus on a few key goals concentrates our actions and helps allocate our resources and capabilities more effectively. Now more than ever, this focus is essential.
So, with that in mind how do we plan ahead during these uncertain times?
Where are you now?
Be honest and do a reality check, there is no point kidding yourself. What has changed in your business and what’s within your control?
What’s important for you right now?
A lot has changed, what does the business need to provide for you personally? There can be some tough questions here if your business has been impacted and
cash flow and profitability are reduced.
What are your goals – where do you want to be?
For many businesses this may be very different as the near term might be about stabilisation rather than growth. What are the top 3 or 4 things that you want to
achieve in the next 12 to 24 months? Be realistic, look at where you are now and what you want to achieve.
How are you going to get there?
It is likely you have activities that are not viable right now and need to consider alternatives. In these circumstances it might be useful to re-frame the situation and ask if this could work, how would it work? What activities are required, what are the priorities, who is responsible and by when? Build an accountability framework and explain it to your team as you will need
their buy in to achieve your objectives.
Know your numbers.
You need to be close to your costs and use your data to help you make better decisions. If you need help, ask your accountant about the different reports they can provide.
Measure your progress.
What are your key activities and how do you measure them to know you are on track? These may not always be financial measures; look for the activities that
link directly to your goals. Read more on selecting the right performance measures for your business.
Review and reset.
A business plan is a living document and it is essential to assess your progress. If something isn’t working, change the process and not the goal – focus is critical as distraction is the main killer of successful implementation.
Where to now?
If you have a business plan, then get it out and review it using the steps above. If you don’t have a plan, then you can download our One Page Plan Template.
To help more broadly with your business, we recently hosted a full day of ‘Rebound’ sessions on everything you need to consider to be ‘ready’ …. for whatever is around the corner. From change to marketing and branding to tech, how we work and how to get stuff done, you name it we covered it you can watch the recordings on demand here.
The most important thing is just to start. You can update and adjust your plan along the way. Follow your plan, focus your effort, review your numbers regularly and you will be amazed at the results you and your team can achieve.
If you would like to learn more, book a business planning session or already have a plan that you would like us to review, feel free to give us a call, we would love to help.