In a busy calendar it can seem impossible to carve out time for planning. But it’s vital for any business, because, as the old saying goes: “Failing to plan, is planning to fail.”
January is an ideal time to get set for the year ahead.
We know how it is: You’re busy with the day-to-day, managing all of the components that come with a small business start-up that begins to grow.
It can also be exhausting.
And when you’re so busy tackling the moment-by-moment, day-by-day issues how can you ever find time for strategic planning?
Buried under the daily pressures of running a business, most small business owners can barely think six months ahead, let alone several years.
The first thing you need to remember is that you are not alone.
Growth is the goal of every business, but of course, expansion brings with it a whole set of new issues. And believe it or not, in the small business sector, no matter what industry you’re in or what your business model looks like, many of these challenges are the same across every single business.
Australia’s SMEs equate to about 57 per cent of GDP and employ around 7 million people. SMEs are a significant economic driver, and a valuable resource. But … the sad reality is that more than half of new Australian businesses are likely to fail within the first five years of operation. The number one reason is poor cash-flow, followed by access to capital.
Good management and planning underpin both of these.
But you know that…. You just don’t have the time to plan ahead, right?
Do you have the time not to?
The truth is, if you just go on about your daily activities and hope you’ll one day end up where you want to be, it won’t happen. Most businesses get caught up in their own functional near-sightedness. At best, this stifles momentum, creativity and growth. At worst, it can mean insolvency.
So what do you do?
We recommend putting aside time in January. It’s the mid-point in the financial year and a good time to take stock, and track yourself against your annual forecasts.
There’s also something ‘fresh’ about January – and after the Christmas break you will hopefully be feeling rested, with some clear head space.
Sit down with our proven 5-step process for success. It will help you to identify the biggest risks and threats you face, as well as the opportunities. It digs deep into your finances too.
The best part about the 5-step process is that it doesn’t ask you to “stop everything!” and turn your business on its head. The process recognises the need to keep moving while you’re simultaneously working in the background to stabilise the core of your business and position for future growth. And it gives you tools and insights to do this.
One of the critical components of the process is a focus on ‘why’ you do what you do.
What’s your purpose?
This is not a buzzword or an abstract concept. Quite the contrary. ‘Why’ is as critical to your business as concepts like ‘turnover’, ‘profit’ and ‘tax liability’.
Quite simply, the answer to your ‘why’ provides a basis for all your business decision-making. Your ‘why’ is what differentiates you. It underpins your brand and marketing. It reconnects you with your customers and, most importantly, it fuels your enthusiasm.
After all, there’s no point labouring away for 80 or 90 plus hours a week, making a marginal profit, if your original ‘why’ was to create freedom and independence and work-life balance.
In our experience, when you keep coming back to your purpose you make more astute decisions. You’ll find your passion again.
The 5-step process is about identifying ways your business can operate more efficiently and be much more effective at delivering you the financial returns you want.
It’s worthwhile considering a mentor too – someone who is experienced in business, who understands the challenges your facing, and who knows the landscape.
Someone to act as a ‘sounding board’ to help you figure out step-by-step, how to keep your business moving forward at a steady, manageable pace, and reap the financial rewards.
If you feel like your business could be working harder, so you don’t have to, then contact us.