Did our headline there scare you? If you have made it through to the end of January without a Business Plan, there’s no need to panic. We’ve worked with so many businesses across many sectors who haven’t done any strategic planning and they’re five or more years into their business.
Here at Shockwave, we’re very much about looking ahead. If you don’t have a Business Plan, now’s the time to put it at the top of your priority list. Without a plan and implementation strategy, how will you be able to set goals, keep yourself accountable and work towards constantly growing and evolving your business?
We all know how fast time flies and before you know it, if you don’t act now, you’ll be reading one of our blogs about 2018. Or worst still, you’ll find yourself in December, lamenting about how your business isn’t where you want it to be and wondering where it all went wrong.
It’s time for action and to devise a solid Business and Marketing Plan that:
- Creates a roadmap for your future
- Helps you to manage cash flow
- Grows your business
- Includes data – numbers don’t and won’t lie
- Assists in keeping you and those around you accountable
Below, our Shockwave coaches have delved into each key area more.
Creating a roadmap for your future
Do you know where you want to go in business say in 1 and then 3 years? If you do, what steps are you going to take in order to get there? Without a roadmap, you’re a little like a driver who’s at the wheel, speeding ahead without the intention of going anywhere. The purpose of your roadmap is to set your goals high and then include actionable steps that plot out exactly how you’re going to obtain the lifestyle you deserve.
Managing cash flow
We’re not exaggerating when we say that your ability to manage your cash flow can make or break your business. A lot of industries experience peaks and troughs in business and if you haven’t allowed for this via cash flow management and planning, you may find yourself in a tight position during slower months. Not having enough cash to inject into your business at any point in time is never desirable and putting a plan together at the start of the year, helps you to cope when the going gets tough.
Growing your business
The term ‘growing your business’ is so broad. When looking at a Business or Marketing Plan, you’re forced to envisage what that growth may look like. Does it mean an increase in sales, team expansion, relocating to bigger premises… of course, it all depends on your business. By thinking about this now, you’re ensuring your business is equipped to cope with growth. Of course, how your business growth ends up looking may be completely different but you’re always going to benefit from having a solid plan in place.
Looking at the numbers
Every business is incredibly data hungry these days and for good reason too. What some businesses fail to realise is that data alone is not helpful. The real skill is in interpreting the data so that you can extract the information you need to and look at what that means for your business. Too many businesses in the past, have relied on assumptions to make important marketing or other business decisions. With the amount of data on-hand these days, you should be able to look at the numbers and gain a number of valuable insights. Remember: the numbers will never lie.
This is a big one, especially if you happen to be running your business alone. If you can’t afford a business coach or don’t feel as though you’re ready, seek out someone who you can trust to hold you accountable for what’s happening in your business. Believe us when we say we work alongside our clients to ensure they are accountable every step of the way and it makes a huge difference. Sometimes, you really just need someone to pull you up or open your eyes to something that you’re not following through with.
Successful businesses aren’t a fluke. They’re the result of a lot of hard work and planning. If thinking about how to write a Marketing Plan or Business Plan makes you nervous, get in touch with our Shockwave coaches. We’ve been involved in documenting thousands of Marketing Plans and Business Plans over the years and we just can’t get enough! Your road to success starts with a simple phone call: 03 9016 0428.