When was the last time you undertook strategic planning for your small business? Was it way back when you first started out or have you never quite got around to putting together a formal plan?
If you relate to either of those scenarios you are not alone. According to HLB Mann Judd in their SME Research report 2017/18, 4 in 5 businesses don’t have a working business plan. Of those 1 in 5 who do, only a third regularly review and update it.
To achieve financial success for your small business, you need to have a plan. More importantly, you need to regularly review and update it to have any chance of reaching your goals. Here’s how you can plan for financial success as a small business in 2020.
Develop a Business Plan
A business plan is the most important document you can prepare for your small business. Setting out your goals, mission, products, services, competitors, operational strategy, marketing plan and financial goals, your business plan is key to your overall success.
A good business plan can help feed your financial success in a number of ways by:
- getting you to set realistic goals
- helping you track progress
- identifying your business priorities
- assisting you in obtaining finance
- providing a path when things get tough
- highlighting your purpose as a business
- outlining how your business should operate
Taking the time to develop a solid business plan can help you secure finance, assist you in prioritising your time and open your mind to new possibilities. You know the saying “failing to plan is planning to fail?” When it comes to your small business it couldn’t be more apt.
Establish a Financial Plan
Your financial plan is designed to support the goals in your business plan. Establishing more detail and strategy around your financial goals, a financial plan sets out a range of financial details covering your cash flow, expenditure, debts, investments and your appetite for risk.
A detailed financial plan goes a long way to identifying the financial health of your business, allowing you to identify areas of weakness as well as opportunities for growth by:
- assisting with cash management (identifying cash flow, debt, expenditure, etc.)
- delivering a long term view of business finances
- prioritising areas of expenditure
- measuring ongoing progress against goals
- highlighting trends and patterns
- identifying opportunities for further investment
- understanding your capacity for risk
Regularly updating and reviewing your financial plan presents a valuable opportunity to measure the financial performance of your small business. Understanding the data, you’ll be able to make quick adjustments in the short term as well as plan for longer-term financial success as well.
Create a Marketing Plan
To secure the ongoing success of your small business you need to be able to attract leads and clients. That’s where a marketing plan comes in handy. Setting out who your customers are, how you can connect with them and what sets you apart from your competitors, a marketing plan focuses your efforts to maximise financial success.
A detailed marketing plan goes a long way in helping your small business by:
- identifying your target market
- understanding how your product or service meets their needs
- knowing who your competitors are and their strengths and weaknesses
- differentiating yourself from the competition
- positioning your brand as the best choice for your target market
- establishing a strategy for your marketing efforts
- creating consistent messaging for your business
A marketing plan will keep you on track and ensure your business is meeting the needs of your clients. As you get to know your market, your audience and your competitors, you’ll be able to further refine your message, improve your communication and reach the right people, securing your ongoing financial success.
Are you ready to start planning for financial success as a small business? Our finance experts at Vision Property & Finance can guide you in planning for your future success. Let us help you get the most from your business and position yourself for success in 2020 and beyond. Contact our Sydney office on 02 8354 3000, talk to our Newcastle office on 02 4014 1999 or get in touch with us here.