Running a business takes determination and focus. But sometimes it’s difficult to see the wood from the trees and see all the options available to you.
WLM has the experience and knowledge to give you an independent point of view using valuable insights and perspectives. We’ll also provide you with the tools and resources to keep your business running smoothly – and help you keep it On Track.
A Business Plan is imperative to secure finance, but it is an important road map to give direction, to ensure focus on objectives and it should be reviewed regularly. Invariably a business plan will change from year to year. A business plan will include a marketing plan and a marketing plan is important to all business and should be developed on the outset of a new business activity.
Step 1 - Evaluate where you are now
Before starting a Business plan take an honest, hard look at yourselves and your business.
Look at your threats, opportunities, strengths and weakness and consider your financial situation (SWOT analysis).
Compare yourself against other businesses in your industry. See if WLM can run a Benchmarking Report for your industry, this can be useful to identify key issues.
Step 2 - Review Business Goals and Set new Business Goals using the “Balanced Scorecard Approach”
By setting new business goals for all aspects of your business this may be enough to give your business the kickstart and growth you require without incurring the risk of a new business venture. Alternatively by reviewing and setting goals through looking at each perspective of the business, – ideas for growth may blossom.
A Balanced Scorecard is a management and a measurement tool to ensure your business is working towards a “balanced” set of goals and through Key Performance indicators tracks your progress.
Involve your staff in the review and goal setting process. At the time of creating goals, determine the appropriate key performance indicators with the help of your accountant.
You will set goals in the five perspectives
Financial, Customer, Internal Processes, Human Resources and Learning & Growth.
At WLM we utilise various software tools to assist you in measuring these perspectives. One of these is fathom link( to http://www.fathomhq.com/)
Step 3 – Perform a Risk Analysis
In reviewing the different perspectives of your business consider the risks involved, attempt to quantify the cost of those risks and consider ways to mitigate the risk.
For Example, a sudden dramatic change in your business can lead to staff turnover and the cost will be recruitment and training costs and potential cost of service delivery. Mitigate risk by introducing change at a steady pace and involve staff as much as possible in the process. Do thorough checking and testing of employees before employing them.
Consider the legal requirements for your current business and potential new business activities
Step 4 - Prepare a Budget and Cashflow Forecast & Review current cash flow issues
Do a Profit and Loss Budget and Cash flow forecast, based on your current situation and then rebuild these forecasts to include your new business plan or new goals. Ask us at WLM to assist you with this, as a good cash flow forecast incorporates timing of tax payments, debtor and creditor payments. At WLM we have various tools available to us to create dynamic cash flow forecasts.
Step 5 - Write your Business Plan. We recommend you start with the business plan template provided at www.Business.gov.au. Using the information gathered in Steps 1 to 4 you can complete these templates.
Step 6 - Implementation and Measurement
The business plan will guide you in the implementation, i.e. who will do what and when.
You will need to measure progress and you need to be alert to warning signs when things might not be tracking to plan.
At very least there needs to be quarterly reporting and consult WLM for assistance in this. There are many software tools in the marketplace for us to use, to keep this process painless.
The Balanced Scorecard will identify the key measures you will want to be reporting on regularly.
Okay for plans to change, invariably they do but update your budgets /cash flow forecasts with new significant changes.