Setting goals and targets with which to measure success is a sensible and professional way to manage a business. It may be possible for an owner operator or very small business to succeed based on information kept in the proprietors head but once a business starts to grow it becomes vital to establish plans to stay focused.
One of the key benefits of the planning process is that it forces a thought process around where the business should succeed and where potential dangers may lie. One tool in this process is a SWOT analysis – or looking in details at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to the business. And the more people that have an input to this process the better since different perspectives can generate interesting views on the markets and competition.
Cashflow is king in any business of any size. No matter how profitable a business may be simply running out of cash to fund the build and delivery timescale can kill. Getting accurate cash flow forecasts can help avert disaster by having sufficient alternative lines of finance in place to fund growth or periods of seasonal slowdowns in sales. Equally, a cashflow analysis can identify when there are funds available for investment in capital equipment or other investment opportunities.
Getting help with business planning is straightforward. Using online planning software that incorporates cashflow and SWOT analysis and that allows for clear visual output is relatively cheap and available on a short term monthly subscription basis.