Planning a shakeup – How to plan for big changes in your business

Planning for change at your business

The only thing you can be certain of in business is that things will change. This might be a slow change or a sudden sharp one, but either way, it’s important to prepare for the future.

These changes are a lot easier to predict if you are the instigator of the change. You may decide to take on a partner, move location, change the way you sell, change what you sell, or even sell the business itself. (more…)

Long term planning – how far into the future can you look

long term business planning

Long term planning is an oft-ignored aspect of running a business. Why is it so ignored? Because people think…

  1. It’s not useful.
  2. It’s not possible.

In this article, I’m going to explain why long term planning is both useful and possible, and also provide some practical advice about how far ahead you can look when devising your long term plan. (more…)

Why Your Startup Needs a Good Plan and a Flexible Strategy

what to include in your business plan

Every start-up company needs a good business plan and an effective business strategy. They’re distinct but equally necessary and you shouldn’t confuse one with the other.

You can’t expect to get past first base without a plan. A clear, well-written explanation of what you intend to sell and when you intend to sell it, is the document you will take to your bank manager if you want to get a business loan and to investors if you’re seeking financial backing. (more…)

Short term planning – how to balance your time and detail when planning

Business planning - how to plan for the short term

In a previous article, I described the differences between short term and long term planning. A challenge to both types of planning is how much detail to go into.

I’ve seen accountants trying to create perfect 30 year financial models based on the level of detail they use for tracking the day to day running of the business.

Needless to say, they quickly find an already large job turning into a mountain of work. When the time comes to update the plan (1-12 times/year depending on the organisation) the battle to ensure accurate detail in the plan needs to be taken up again.

So how do you get the right level of planning for your business? (more…)

The 8 Acts all business owners and leaders need to master

So you’re in charge: perhaps you started the company, maybe you’ve taken it over, or you were handed the top job and told to run the show. What next?

Every company is different. But while scale of the demands placed on the chief executive of a listed multinational may be different to those a small business owner faces, many of the major challenges business leaders face are similar.

After discussing such challenges with a wide range of entrepreneurs, investors, executives and analysts, I suggest they boil down to eight essential “acts” of leadership. (more…)

Why it’s important you plan your exit strategy before you start your business

Starting a new business is fun. It’s a world of learning and discovery as you set out on your own and try to build a brand new business from scratch.

Many people are so caught up in building their business that they don’t really consider where they want it to go in the long-term. And very few people are forward thinking enough to plan the finish – their exit strategy – when they are starting up.

Yet it’s an essential part of your start-up planning. Not only will there have to be a day when you walk away from the business, but when you know where you ultimately want it to go, you are much more likely to make the right decisions along the way.

Here’s why you need to plan your exit before you launch your new venture;
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Top 10 business planning tips for start-ups

Writing a business plan is an important step in the business start-up process. And, if you want to raise funding for your new business, you simply must produce an up-to-date business plan to show potential backers.

Even if you don’t place much importance on the business planning process, the simple act of writing down your thoughts can help focus your mind on aspects of the business which you may otherwise have neglected.

So to get you started on the right path, here are 10 business planning tips to help you produce an effective plan; (more…)

Guide to successful business planning

There is a lot to be gained from business planning but many businesses will search for a million reasons to avoid it. However large or small your business is, planning for the future is critical to its success.

Apart from the obvious benefits of setting your stall out for the year ahead, creating an annual strategy will motivate, inspire and focus you on what needs to be done and when.
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Online tools and resources to help you write an effective business plan

One of the keys to success in any venture is having an accurate and informative business plan. It will set a clear direction and ensure you spend your time productively. As a vital document, you need to invest time getting it right before you make any key business decisions.

There are numerous tools and sources of information online, that allow you to research and plan virtually any business idea. Here are a few of our favourites.
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Guide to Writing a Business Plan – Part 1 – Introduction

The following 8-part guide on how to write a business plan serves as an outline for anyone who is thinking of starting their own business, or improving an existing business.

The aim of this guide is to focus your ideas and create an easy-to-follow plan which can be shown to potential investors, bank managers and business partners.
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What is a Business Plan?

A business plan is a document which captures how you expect your business will grow, according to a large number of factors such as funding, how the market behaves, the people involved in the business, and – of course – how successful you are at selling your product or service.
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