Do I really need a business plan?
When we think about starting or growing our business, we are full of excitement, passion and enthusiasm and sitting down to create a thorough business plan can be the last thing on our mind. Do we really need one? Let’s talk about it.
Let’s get something clear from the outset; as a former accountant, I can say with certainty that if you are approaching banks for business finance or are looking for investors, then a formal, comprehensive business plan will be a necessity. But we’re not talking about that situation in this article!!
So, what if we are just starting out and don’t need finance or investors just yet? Or what if we’re looking to grow and expand our business? Do we need to spend hours and hours creating a lengthy, complex, static document?
No, we don’t!
Does that mean we freely dive into doing whatever the hell we want, following what “feels good” and winging it from one situation to the next?
No, it doesn’t!
So, where is the happy medium? What should we be thinking about in terms of giving our business some strategic direction?
Here are some questions to use as a prompt to get your mind moving in the right direction:
- What is my business here for?
Obviously, your business has a purpose to serve your clients or customers; but how is it serving YOU? What did you start your business for? What kind of lifestyle was it meant to be allowing you to lead? This is something very easy to lose sight off, especially if we have experienced rapid growth and so it is an important question to ask ourselves when checking in.
- What will my business look like in 12 months? 5 years? 10 years?
I am a firm believer in the mantra that if we can’t language it, we can’t have it. If we are not able to put into words what our business will look like down the track, then there is no way we are going to achieve it. So, give it some thought during this process; what does the future look like?
- Will I be a part of it and in what capacity?
This might seem like a strange question to ask, but is it really? Consider what has changed in the last 12 months and what might change in the next 12 months; 5 years; 10 years… and do you still want to be a part of it?
- If I were exactly where I am right now in my business in 5 years’ time, will I be happy?
This is like the previous question, but comes at it from a different angle; if nothing changed from now, would you be happy?
- What do I need to start doing right now to get my business where I want it to be?
I will go out on a limb and suggest that most people reading this, will realise that they had an idea of what life as a business owner would look like, but that the reality is quite different. That can be both a good thing and a bad thing. If you are one of the many who wants to be somewhere different to where you are now in 5 years’ time; what do you need to start doing in order to get there?
Maybe it’s retraining or upskilling; maybe it’s team expansion; maybe it’s systemisation or automation; maybe it’s asking for help because you’re not sure. Whatever it is the only way to ensure you get it is to strategise and prioritize and check in on a regular basis.
If you’re unsure which way to turn next, get in touch about the RPC Business Health Check. In this complementary session, we explore all aspects of your business to uncover what you are doing great and what might require further attention to ensure you are on the path to get, to where you want to go.