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Business Planning Guide for Success

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The beginning of the year is a great time to evaluate your business plan and set business goals of what you would like to achieve over the next 12 months.  In this article, we provide guidance on how you can do this.  Business planning revolves mainly around the following three questions:

  1. How is your business performing?
  2. What business goals do you want to set?
  3. What are the best ways to meet your goals?

It is a form of gap analysis, knowing where you are, where you want to be and how to go about achieving it.

How is your business performing?

It is important to know where your business performance is right now to be able to come up with realistic business goal(s).   This includes:

  • Your finance capabilities, including sales and expenses
  • Your existing team’s capabilities
  • Your available products and/or services
  • Your existing sales and marketing channels and performance
  • Your available assets (e.g., machinery, inventory, sites etc)

What business goals do you want to set?

Now that we know your business’ current performance and capabilities, we can start thinking about what you would like to achieve over the next 12 months.  It could be one or multiple goals.  Use the SMART rule to help you identify your business goal(s)

S – Specific (or Significant).

M – Measurable (or Meaningful).

A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).

R – Relevant (or Rewarding).

T – Time-bound (or Trackable).

Some of the questions you may want to ask yourself when setting your business goal(s) as part of business planning activities.

  • Is the goal attainable / realistic?
  • If the goal is too easy to achieve, broaden it.
  • Are there any major success factors that you may not be in control of? This will pose a high risk to whether you are able to achieve your goal. 
  • Do you have multiple goals? If so, prioritise the goals to help you better allocate resources
  • Can the goal be broken into smaller goals to help you better manage them?

What are the best ways to meet your goals?

We now know where you want your business to be.  So how do we go about achieving it? 

For example, based on the current sales performance, you would like to increase it by 30% by the end of the year.  Let us do a quick analysis together:

  • What product/service performs best?
  • Are there any other products/services that may be able to bring in more sales?
  • Which sales & marketing channel performs the best?
  • Are there any other sales & marketing channels that may bring in more sales?
  • How much of a budget do you have to spend?
  • Do you need to hire additional resources or engage a third party service provider?
  • How best to monitor where you are with attaining your goal? Quarterly sales growth?
  • How long will it take to complete each required activity?
  • Are there any potential risks and/or issues that you can prevent?

Based on the above, draw out an implementation plan to help you control and monitor the progress.  This includes activity timelines, budgets, resources.  At InvoiceInterchange, we can provide you flexible business funding to help you achieve your business goals.

As part of business planning activities, your implementation plan may need to be adjusted along the away to adapt to customer feedback and demand to help you achieve your goal.  Last but not least, ensure that the agreed business goal is clearly communicated to everyone in your team so that your team will make business decisions in alignment with the same company-wide goal.

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