Why not all business plan templates are equal

As we approach the end of 2016 this is an excellent time to reflect on the last 12 months and ask yourself some tough but necessary questions about the year ahead. This is when you may want to draw up a business plan but not before we explain why not all business plans are equal.

As you begin to look at the next calendar year, you might want to rethink your business plan and this is where we can help. We know from experience why most business plans are barely worth the paper they’re written on.

If your business plan doesn’t capture the right steps to develop the business towards the end goals you have for it, you need to re-write it.  So what are the right steps to developing the business?  Here are the main elements you must ensure that your business has in place; so, to the extent that any are not in place, appropriate steps should be planned to implement them:

The first step would look at: time mastery, money mastery and delivery mastery. With time mastery, for example, start to ask yourself whether what you’re doing is urgent or important and plan your time accordingly. If you plan well, 60 per cent of your time should be spent working on tasks that are important but not urgent. These are the tasks that build a great business.

As for money mastery, what are your financial goals? What can you do in the first 90 days of 2017 that will help support the growth of your business? Do you have the appropriate financial reporting in place to manage any financial risk in the business?  Monthly Profit and Loss Statement?  Weekly Cashflow Forecast?  And so on….

In essence, delivery mastery involves ensuring that it is easy for your customers to buy from you and that you deliver your product or service in a way that wow’s them!

Step two is about creating a niche that sets you apart from your competition, such as to avoid having to compete on price. ActionCoach can show you five activities that will then allow you to dramatically increase the growth of your business, along with the profit that it generates.

Step three is about leverage – how can you do less to gain more?  In its ultimate business form, leverage is about ensuring that your business runs without you.  To achieve that, you must implement the nine steps to systematizing your business – which of those will you complete in the next year?  Make sure you have the right ones in your plan!

Step four is about your team and how to develop a winning team that will help your business prosper. Questions you need to consider include how can you make your team more effective and who do you need to recruit in the next year?

The fifth step requires the first four steps to have been completed or be near completion first. This step becomes possible when you’ve reached the point where you can sit back and gain such much needed perspective on where the business is now and where you want to take it. You now have your time back so a range of exciting and potentially significant growth strategies are possible.

The sixth and final step in your business evolution involves selling your business. For some of you, this will occupy a significant part of your plan for next year so make sure you’ve mapped out the steps to enjoy a successful sale.  If you’re completed the previous steps properly, you’ll certainly have a salable asset!

Like we said, not all business plans are created equal.  Use this outline to ensure that your plan for the next year will take your business toward your goals for it….making it a great year!

Want to ensure 2017 is your best year yet?  Speak with one of our business coaches here.