Business Planning and Forecasting

Posted on February 11, 2015 by FGL

Many businesses put a great Business Plan together when they start up, they need finance or they need an investor.

The most successful businesses do all of the above – but it's a live and current document that they review and update regularly - as a pro-active and positive part of managing the business. It's a really good management 'tool' to :-

  • Re-affirm your vision for the business - in line with sector, economic, market and technology changes
  • Review any changes in your Business in the previous 12 months which might impact on your Plan
  • Review of strengths and opportunities – and maximise them
  • Assess the impact of potential vulnerabilities – and minimise them
  • Set out what you want to achieve in the next 12 months (and beyond
  • if you wish)
  • Agree Action plans to turn the "What's" into "How's" – and "Who" is
  • doing it.
  • Think ahead - Brainstorm contingency plans to cover vulnerabilities, obstacles, threats etc - This is a great way
  • of avoiding the "OSINTOT Syndrome" ( the polite version is "Oh Sugar, I Never Thought Of That")
  • Set out your financial Budgets with quarterly reviews
  • Use these budgets to assess what financial support you will need in the next 12 months– and plan where to get it, in good time

Sounds simple but making time to do it, is generally the hardest challenge. Believe me it's the best days work you and your Team could do and reminds me of "the wood cutters story":-

Imagine a wood cutter with his saw….. slowly working his way through the forest, relentlessly cutting trees down without a break – totally focussed on the job in hand. At the start of the week, his saw is sharp, his energy high and his motivation is strong. As the saw goes blunt, the work is harder, the energy is sapped and the motivation drains. The focus is on the job of cutting down the tree rather than the bigger task of clearing the forest. Imagine the same wood cutter with the same saw………… this time he stops regularly to sharpen the saw and review his progress. He is proud of what he's achieved and looks forward to what still need to be done with the motivation, skills and tools to do it. And he's actually looking forward to next week !!

Think of your Business Plan as your chance to "sharpen your saw" – and make time NOW. If you need any help with putting together a useable and practical Plan and Forecasts for 2015, whether it's for your own use or to get the support of the Bank or an investor………just give me a call.