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Is Your Business Plan On Track for Success?

Is Your Business Plan On Track for Success?. Presented by: Linnea Blair, Advisors On Target 2012 PDCC Paint Expo. Did You Plan Your Entry Into Business?. Before starting your business did you: Do research? Set out your goals? Or was it based on: Back-of-an-envelope calculations?

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Is Your Business Plan On Track for Success?

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  1. Is Your Business Plan On Track for Success? Presented by: Linnea Blair, Advisors On Target 2012 PDCC Paint Expo

  2. Did You Plan Your Entry Into Business? Before starting your business did you: • Do research? • Set out your goals? Or was it based on: • Back-of-an-envelope calculations? • Without benchmarks or time frames?

  3. Why Did You Go Into Business? Usual reasons are: • Independence - being your own boss • Higher income prospects • A better lifestyle with more free time • The personal satisfaction of taking on a challenge • Building a future for your family

  4. Is the reality more like: Working long hours Stress Risks Less family time No vacations Full responsibility Taxes Bureaucracy Bad debts Constant minor emergencies Have You Achieved Your Goals?

  5. Is Your Business Running You? Are you working IN the business, or ON it? • Negatives are a constant feature • Your business is out of control • You don’t have time to look at the bigger picture

  6. Take Control Through Business Planning Developing a Business Plan will develop your business management knowledge. • You will become a better manager • You will improve your chances of business success

  7. If You Only Walk Long Enough... • Deciding on which way to go (using a strategy) depends on knowing where you want to get to (having goals) • Without a goal there is no plan for getting anywhere – you’re just doing a long walk (maybe in circles)

  8. What We’ll Cover Today What’s in a business plan Why every business needs a business plan How a business plan allows you to manage Using the plan to set and achieve business goals Monitoring progress towards goals How to prepare a business plan How to use a business plan

  9. What’s In A Business Plan • Typical content (chapters) in a business plan: • Executive Summary • Industry Analysis • Market Analysis • Competitive Analysis • Marketing Plan • Management Plan • Operating Plan • Financial Plan • Appendices And Exhibits

  10. Don’t Only Start Ups Need A Business Plan? • A good business plan is your most important management tool • It’s an essential for both start ups AND ongoing businesses

  11. Why Every Business Needs A Business Plan • Surviving competition and growing your business, requires that you be a good manager • Managing involves having clear objectives, understanding the market, managing your money properly, as well as producing quality products or services • Developing a business plan gives you the information you need to MANAGE your business

  12. How A Business Plan Works • Describes your current situation - where you are now • Describes how you see the business some time in the future - where you want to get to • Describes your strategies for how you are going to get there • Sets specific goals to be reached by particular dates so you can track your progress as you go

  13. Business Profile – Where You Are Now • Provides a big picture view of the business • Focuses on how good your business idea is or how saleable a product you actually have

  14. Where You Are Now – Reality Check • Being forced to focus on issues provides a reality check for your business

  15. Where Do You Want To Get To – Setting Goals • The profile section of the plan includes information on where you want to get to in the form of some specific goals • These goals are really important because they will determine your whole business strategy • Goals need to be based on a good grip on reality

  16. How Do You Get There – Strategies • Develop strategies (tactics) to make the goals a reality • This is where some really hard thinking is necessary • May need more than one strategy per goal

  17. How Do You Get There - Milestones A strategy is made up of a number of discrete steps These steps are called milestones because as you get each one done you have reached another milestone towards implementing the strategy

  18. Modeling Strategies The same objective might be reached in a number of ways Each way (strategy) will require different inputs and involve different costs Developing a business plan will bring these issues to light and provide the opportunity to model out the consequences of choosing a particular strategy

  19. Strategy - Marketing And Sales • For your business to be successful and profitable you must have a clear understanding of your customers, your product strengths and the competition • The market analysis section of a business plan examines all these things • Knowing them you can develop a detailed explanation of your sales strategy, pricing plan, proposed advertising and promotion activities, and the product or service's benefits that then becomes your marketing plan

  20. Strategy - Finances • The Finance section of the plan includes a description of your detailed financial statements, a financial statement analysis and your funding requirements • Also includes projections that set forth the projected timing of revenues and expenses to show whether and how the business will meet its obligations to vendors and others who provide the business with goods or services • Projections can be tied directly to planned operational results

  21. Monitoring Progress ‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’ Monitoring means setting up a process to measure the actual outcomes of your actions against the results you had planned on happening This takes discipline but is an essential ingredient to a successful business planning process

  22. Monitoring Milestones Each of those milestones you decided on should have a timeline attached – a ‘to be completed by’ date An open ended milestone isn’t worth writing down Milestones may be scheduled to happen in a sequence or in parallel By setting dates you can gauge your progress and compare your projections to actual accomplishments If a date is reached and the milestone isn’t ready then you know it and can revise the plan

  23. Monitoring Revenue - Actual vs Planned Results • Set financial goals and budgets and regularly monitor for deviations between actual and planned results • These provide clues that you can use to tweak or fine tune certain elements of the plan

  24. Managing Business Performance Stop operating according to the ‘savings jar’ approach Amount of money left over isn’t a good indicator of business viability Only tracking how preset milestones are being reached, or not, will alert you to developing opportunities and threats

  25. What Else Is A Business Plan Good For Your business plan is your business’ resume and operates in the same way as a personal resume – it details your qualifications and experience to bolster the confidence of others in your capabilities, or rather those of your business, how well it is doing and what it could be capable of doing It can come in useful for: Negotiating supplier arrangements Arranging finance

  26. Preparing A Business Plan • Every business needs a unique plan but the basic elements are the same in all business plans and so is the basic process to create one • That process doesn’t have to be complicated and the plan needn’t be a very big document • Requires commitment to putting in the time and effort necessary to collecting the data that and thinking through your strategies • You must be objective, critical and focused when doing it • The more effort taken to collect data and formulate plans, the more beneficial and effective the business plan will be

  27. How To Do It • The basic business planning process involves these basic steps: • Obtain an accurate financial and physical outline of the business that objectively describes the current health of your business • Describe in more detail the strengths and weaknesses of your business • Set out your personal and business goals for both the short and long term • Put in place the ‘to do’ action list which indicates when different activities need to be started and finished • You may need some assistance, like your CPA or business advisor • Provide financial data • Good for putting giving reality check

  28. Business Plans Need To Be Used • A business plan is only useful if you use it • Make yours a “living” document

  29. Planning Is A Process • Circumstances change so a business plan needs regular review • Typical triggers for review: • Beginning of new financial period • You need financing, or additional financing • You have developed/are thinking of developing a new product/introducing a new service • Significant change in the market (e.g. shifting customer tastes, altered regulations) • Change in the scale of your business (taking on extra team or a partner)

  30. Conclusion • While the preparation of a business plan may not guarantee success…without one you are taking a journey with only a vague destination in mind and without a road map on how to get there • A well developed plan that documents the ‘wheres’, ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of your business will focus and direct your activity in harnessing all the necessary resources to achieve success

  31. What’s Next? Get Handouts (and other free tools) at AdvisorsOnTarget.com Click on “Member Portal” Click on “Free Resources” under “Community” Sign up as a free member – then log in to access

  32. Your Business Plan – Roadmap to Success Webinar Series • 5 Wednesdays in February – Business Plan Overview plus 4 In-Depth Classes on Creating a Business Plan for your business! • Feb 1 – Your Business Plan: Roadmap to Success (Free) • Feb 8 – Your Business Plan: Your Business Model • Feb 15 – Your Business Plan: Your Financial Plan • Feb 22 – Your Business Plan: Your Marketplace • Feb 29 – Your Business Plan: Executive Summary – plus Q&A Session • Sign up today: advisorsontarget.com/events/business-plan-classes • Investment is just $147 for all 4 sessions if you sign up before February 1 ($197 after today)

  33. Need help to grow a sustainable business? On Target for Contractors Program Business Plans Marketing Plans Business Webinars Business Health Check-up Social Media Consulting NEW: On Target 10 Week Intensive – Next session begins late March, 2012! Find out more at AdvisorsOnTarget.com

  34. Contact me to get your business On Target for success in 2012 and beyond! Advisors On Target Business Coaching & Marketing Consulting Linnea Blair • Office: 619.291.3700 • Email: Lblair@AdvisorsOnTarget.com • Web: AdvisorsOnTarget.com • Twitter: AdvisorOnTarget • Facebook: facebook.com/AdvisorsOnTarget • LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/linneablair

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