Benjamin Franklin once said that “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Many of us know the importance of business planning, but as entrepreneurs, it doesn’t always get to the top of our priority list.
Making plans for your business, and following those plans, gives you the route and direction to reach the destination you are aiming for. As Lewis Carroll wrote, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” You want to know where you are going.
What kind of planning do businesses need to do for the end of the year?
- Self-assessment of the year in review. Set aside time to review the organization’s goals and strategic plans – do they still make sense given the environment you are working in?
- Do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) internal business analysis quickly, and focus on building the strengths of the organization. This is where the passion lies, so build that up. While doing so, embrace change and challenge the status quo.
- Budget – Review the past year, and look at the New Year with a focus on building the strengths and passions of the organization. Do this before the New Year begins.
- Overview of the previous year – Look at what makes sense. Does what you are doing make sense? Do the results make sense? What is the messaging, and the story behind the numbers? Understand there is always a story there. Consider what went right and what went wrong, along with the highlights and lowlights?
- Review and plan in honesty and humility – These steps can be, and should be, a humbling experience if you are honest with yourself. Remind yourself that this is a time when relying on God, rather than ourselves, is key. Look at your own mental and emotional health. Are you too self-centred? Are you investing in others? Are you spending time with God to seek direction?
Personnel and Management
Looking at the “big rocks” in your business is also important. Consider questions like: are you conducting business wisely? What are the key indicators of how you are doing business wisely?
This is also a good time to look at the human capital component.
People are Your Most Valuable Assets.
Consider the following: How are the people doing? Are they burnt out, or are they still passionate about what they are doing? Is there an awakening or rejuvenation needed for you and your staff? What management components are key to the business? You can have the greatest strategy in the world but you always need to be able to execute that strategy with the people you hire.
When considering your management issues look at five common areas:
* Human Resource management
* Operations management
* Marketing management
* Financial management
* IT management
In all of these considerations and reviews, keep in mind your economic climate as well as financial components, and look at the effectiveness and efficiency of your operations. As you can see, planning involves a lot of review of the past year. Once reviews are complete you can then get into the guts of the issues, by choosing three to four areas that you know need work. With this kind of analysis and planning, you are setting a good foundation to build upon.
Bron Vasic is a Chartered Accountant and Certified Management Consultant. For over 30 years, he has been providing business leaders with the leadership and management knowledge to help them find a better way to balance their business challenges. Bron is also a More Than Enough financial coach. To learn more about Bron visit http://www.bvasic.com/. To talk with Bron, call the MTE office and book an appointment.