5 Reasons Why You Need A Business Plan
Getting it Right by Getting a Plan
There was once a famous French Philosopher, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, who is quoted as saying,
“A goal without a plan is just a wish”.
At lukejcox.com, we believe that this true is both amusing and incredibly accurate. At the end of the day how are you going to know where you are going, and how you are going to get to your final destination if you don’t have a road map?
In the same way that there may be many different routes to get to your destination, there are many different ways you can get your plan developed and many reasons why you shouldn’t delay in looking at it today.
In order to keep this blog, short, sharp and punchy, we have narrowed this down to our top 5 reasons why you need to get that plan going. Creating this countdown caused quite a stir of debate in the office, but we finally agreed that this is our 5, in reverse order.
Top 5 Reasons Why Your Business Need A Plan
Number 5: Knowledge is Power
Coming in at number 5 is, “Knowledge is Power”. A few years ago when I first came into Asia, I was working as a GM for a small hotel group. I remember saying to my lady-boss, “Do we have a business plan I could look through?” To my surprise, she pointed to her head and said, “It’s all up here!”
Fast forward a few months after I had developed her first plan including a full SWOT analysis of our competitors, and she said to me, “I had no idea that company XXX were doing that! We need to look at something like this too, let’s get on it.” This for us then is pretty key to getting it right.
Knowledge is indeed power and will allow you to get your finger on the pulse of what is happening in your direct neighborhood.
Number 4: Hiring the Right People
Number 4 sees us looking at, “Hiring the Right People”. What you want is people who are attentive to detail, hardworking and above all have customer service running through their veins.
One thing we need to get clear from the get-go here is that we are not talking about flooding your business with lots of staff. What you don’t want is them all just sat around in dark little corners scrolling through their Facebook page, looking at the latest “singing goat” YouTube video or trying to beat their top score on Clash of Clans.
What we are suggesting here is that by selecting the right people, you can afford them a little bit more, as you can discard some of the “dead wood” which in essence enhances loyalty and tenacity in their tasks. Combine this with a dedicated bonus or incentive scheme and you have a definite cocktail for success.
Number 3: Seal the Deal with an Investor
At number 3 we have “Seal the Deal with an Investor”. Look for new partners to JV or finance your business.
Unless you are one of the Fortune 500 companies or have an endless pot of gold, it is most likely that at some point you are going to look at attracting new investors into your business, look for new partners in a joint venture (JV) or look at applying to the bank for a business loan. Whichever angle you are going to take you can be sure that these guys are not only going to want to see where you have been, but also what your projections are for the future. After all, would you buy a car without test-driving it and looking at the specs first? I didn’t think so.
Number 2: Focus Sharpening and Target Hardening the Team
A close contender with our top selection, number 2 is, “Focus Sharpening and Target Hardening the Team”.
Now listen–in, this is really valuable. Through the business plan, give your key players, those game changers, a true direction with the individual SMART action plans that mirror the plan. By giving your team leaders a tasking direction that is specific, measurable, achievable and above all realistic with a timeline attached to it you will most certainly focus their attention.
Focus their attention and they in-turn will that attention onto your guests where the attention needs to be. (In future blogs we will be looking closely at each element of this incredibly important section).
Number 1: Make More Money, Save More Money
And the top slot, scaling in at number 1 is… (drum roll…), “Make More Money, Save More Money”.
This will be music to the ears of any business owner large or small, including any Financial Controller keeping an eye on the purse. It is the fundamental reason why we do what we do, and therefore it is obviously at the forefront of any rationale. A solid business plan is going to be that written blueprint (although not set in stone) that is going to give you that direction of how you are going to increase the sales of the business and your market share whilst decreasing the costs that are related to it.
A Prime Example of Rule Number 1
Let me give you a good example here. When I was working in the Mediterranean in the early part of 2005 we wrote into the business plan of a highly successful watersports company that we were going to increase the number of boat trips on excursions, but decreasing the engine maintenance expenses.
Sounds impossible right? Wrong.
With some clever sales and marketing tactics written into the plan with effectively a timeline of how we were going to escalate the exposure we gained the sales section. Then, we installed an engine management system into the boat that told us the speed that the boat was traveling at and how the boat was being maintained by the boat captain.
Again, with this directive written into the plan and some effective staff training, we assured the captain’s that if they kept the maintenance costs for that vessel under a certain threshold and fuel costs down by monitoring the boat speed there would be monthly financial incentives.
Believe me when I say that year of implementation of the plan brought record boat trips and the largest reduction by % of on-going maintenance costs of boat engines ever recorded by the company!
So in summary, this is our top 5. Maybe you would mix it up a bit and make your priorities, but we think these 5 should be you’re your definite picks of the day.
We Come Back To People
One final thought for this blog as we close off. Don’t you think it’s interesting that 2 out of 5 of these top 5 consist of people? Both in hiring the right people and keeping those right people focused. In future blogs therefore, we will be covering both elements in detail for you.
Have you got your plan up and running yet or is it like my ex-lady-boss with it still sat in your head? At lukejcox.com we can remove this headache for you and get your business on track.
Get your FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION today and let us help you get a flying start into 2016.
Until next week, take care.