We are looking this week at planning, so I thought it would be worth putting together a few tip to get you on your way. With a focus on “Keep it simple and don’t forget the basics.” Hereare three simple tips that have come out of over 30+ years of business planning:
1. Why am I in business?
From the media, you’d think every business owner wants to be the next Richard Branson or Mark Zuckerberg but in reality, many people’s ambitions are not so lofty. Where do you sit?
- I want a lifestyle business I want to work when I want to work with minimal stress. I want to earn a living but flexibility and lack of stress are more important than maximising earnings
- Small is beautiful I like having a team around me but I want to maintain my work-life balance.
- Take on the world Bring it on. I want to be the next Google
All of these are perfectly valid ambitions but clearly knowing which is your goal will significantly impact on your own planning.
2. Cash is King
Turnover is Vanity, Profit is Sanity – Cash is King! If you can pay your bills, you are in business. If not, watch out! A growing business can mean rising turnover hiding a lack of profitability. Conversely, a genuinely profitable business with poor credit control can run out of cash as the debtor-book grows. Managing cash-flow is vital. A business can run out of cash surprisingly quickly. Realistic planning can pinpoint cash-flow weak points, giving time to address future problems in good time, either from internal resources or putting realistic financing in place.
3. Don’t forget the longer term
Do you spend all your time fire-fighting or do you look further ahead too? Whatever your growth objectives, a business with a solid, respected brand that delivers real benefit has inherent value and will serve you well. It doesn’t matter whether your brand is ‘YOU’ or ‘Apple’, if your customers and markets trust you and have confidence that you deliver value, they will want to do business with you. Building trust and confidence takes time so while you rightly have a focus on cashflow and the short term, remember to build for the future as well. We offer a free, no obligation consultation to readers. Do get in touch