You’ve probably heard the expression, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

And yet, we see it year after year, business owners starting the new year without a plan or a destination in mind.

If you’re a business owner it’s a common ailment that you work long hours and weekends.

This year, stop doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different outcome.

Change in business begins with a solid business plan – and we’re not talking about a plan on the back of an envelope.  Yes, we’ve seen those!

What do you want to achieve this year?  And what are the key projects you need to work on to achieve it?  When will you do those projects, who is going to do them and who will hold them to account to achieve them?

Here’s our 5-steps to a Smarter Business Plan

1. Carry out market research and analysis

This doesn’t mean spend thousands of dollars.  But at the very least take some time to look at what is happening in your industry or in industries that might affect yours.  We have some great frameworks and tools that we use to guide this process.

2. Look at the strengths and weaknesses of your business

Once you’ve completed your market research and analysis, it’s time to critically analyse your strengths and weaknesses against this and then identify opportunities and threats you’ll face in the coming year.

3. Set 4-5 goals of where you want to be in 12 months

Put some numbers or percentages around these. If a goal is to increase sales, be specific about from what dollar amount to what dollar amount? If you plan to improve client retention, what is it now and what will it be in 12 months?

4. Against each goal, list the five big projects you need to work on to achieve them

Yes! If you’ve set 5 goals, this means you’ll have 25 projects you’re working on this year.

That’s two projects per month you need to achieve and implement, or one per fortnight!

5. Share your plan with someone who will hold you to account to achieve it

It’s easy to write a plan and then get caught up in the day to day. Suddenly it’s 6 months into the year and things are no different to the year before.

We suggest sharing your plan with someone who will hold you to account to achieve it – meet with them every fortnight or every month, be honest with yourself about how you’re going and seek help when you need it.

If you would like some help with Business Planning and Accountability, talk to us about the Pathfinder Solutions’ Smarter Business Programme.  We have Group and One to One options that will help you build the business you dreamed of.

About Pathfinder Solutions

Pathfinder Solutions advisory team members have either owned or managed businesses, or are investors themselves, so we know first-hand the challenges you face in your world.

Sure we’re Accountants, but the best solutions in business come from focusing on more than just the numbers. Our real-world business experience delivers just that.

Call us for an obligation-free chat, we’d love to help!

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