Having a business plan

This time of year is when we are already beginning to get inundated with too many things to do and the New Year’s resolutions to do a business plan or write down parts of our personal goals for 2012 are already getting put to the back burner.

Having a personal and or business plan for each year is a very dollar productive activity.

Sitting down, even if it is just for 3 or 4 hours, and putting together a short plan for the next 30 days, 3 months, 12 months and up to 5 years can have a very significant dollar return on the time it actually takes to put each timeframe together.

As your accountant we are very happy to assist you, one on one, in this area. However, for the purpose of this article we have put down just a few ideas that might help you put together a plan, and have included 5 generic tips that have been successful for others in getting the process started.

  • Document the Plan:A business or personal plan needs to be documented; having it in our head is a road map to nowhere. It is amazing how many people are now getting a GPS in their cars, because knowing where we are heading, and the best route to get there, does makes sense.
  • Short and Long Term: Having both short term and medium term time periods allows us to set tasks, and keep deadlines to achieve certain things. We believe having 30 days, 3 months, 12 month, and 5 year plans within the overall plan suits most people. You then are able to review the 12 months and 5 year plan each January, dedicating the longest time to it, but also have shorter term check ups at relevant expiry dates of each task.
  • Simple is Best: Simple and achievable targets are best. It is fantastic to dream, the 5 year plan should include dreams, however the shorter period plans should be realistic and include many of those jobs you really need to get done but keeping putting off. 12 month business goals should always have revenue and expense targets to aim at.
  • Carrot and The Stick: The 30 day and 3 month component should include tasks to be completed. I.e. get our creditors down to xx by 1/4/2012, tidy up the storage room etc. Having little rewards for achievements and penalties for non achievements can work well. One penalty that we have heard used before is to put a With Compliments slip and a $ 50 note in an envelope and if you don’t achieve the activity you set out to do, you send the money to someone you don’t like.
  • Sharing is Caring: Don’t be afraid to share short term goals with staff, us as accountant, partners and others that will check in on your progress. If we really do want to benefit from the time we put in setting up a plan we should not be afraid to share part of the information with those who can help us achieve it.

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