I often hear this challenge when talking to business owners about their lack of a business plan.
However, it soon becomes apparent upon deeper conversation that the issues that caused the business to underperform previously were due to the way this business plan had been put together.
One reason for a failing business plan might be unrealistic forecasting, such as underestimating the time and effort it takes to turn a profit. Another business plan failing might be caused by inadequate market research through asking the wrong questions or drawing the incorrect conclusions; working with a specialist who knows how to target the most profitable markets can realign your business strategy.
A business plan might also fail if it is too rigid and doesn’t allow for growth. As every industry is going through unprecedented change due to technological advances, today’s business plans need to be working documents and not set in stone. Periodically reviewing your plan can ensure you take advantage of new opportunities and avoid unforeseen hazards.
A business plan might fail not because it is flawed but because the people or processes being used to implement it are not suitable. Blaming a business plan for failure when the wrong people have been employed or there is a lack of effective business processes is like blaming a road map for bad driving or poor journey planning.
Another common problem with business plans is the lack of a fully thought out exit strategy. Whilst it is understandable that exiting the business is the last thing on many business owners’ minds when first producing a business plan, I often find myself asking, ‘How can you plot your business journey if you don’t have your destination decided?’ And more importantly, ‘How can you hold yourself to account?’
An exit strategy is one of the most important parts of your business plan and if you don’t spend enough time on this aspect, it can often explain your plan’s failure to deliver.
A business plan is not just a good idea – it’s a foundation stone for business success. The good news is that Gavin Jones Consultancy Ltd. have the experts you need to help you write your next business plan and make sure it succeeds!