Plan to Fail!
As the old adage goes – failing to plan is a plan to fail.
According to the Telegraph, prior to 2020 (!) 20% of new businesses failed to make it past their first year, and a staggering 60% went bust within their first three years.
The primary reason – They didn't have a robust and clearly mapped out business plan.
Having a great new idea and the enthusiasm to run with it is just the start of a successful business.
It’s vital to not only have a sound product or service to take to market, but to also have a well thought-through and robust business plan that maps out your aims and objectives, how you aim to achieve them, how long they will take and any risks you need to be aware of and potentially mitigate against.
A Business Road Map
The minimum length of a business plan should be 12 months, and it is recommended you review this regularly and adapt and innovate against any market changes.
Your business plan should include:
The Situation – including:
The prevailing landscape
Your Big idea
Target Customer/ideal client
The Strategy – including:
The Tactics – including:
Development plan (costs and challenges)
Channel plan (route to market)
Customer validation plan
Identifying your ideal client is a critical component of your plan.
Strategic goals are the visions you have for your business that have a quantifiable outcome. This means that achieving the goal must be something you can measure and track, using data like increased numbers, financial figures or improved productivity rates.
Strategic goals should be:
1.Purpose-Driven. The starting point for creating strategic goals is to ask yourself what your company's purpose and values are.
2.Long-Term and forward focused.
SMART is an acronym for a set of guidelines you can follow to help ensure the goals you set for your business have the best chance of being achieved.
SMART stands for:
Key performance indicators (KPIs)
KPIs are a set of quantifiable measurements created to gauge a company's long-term performance.
KPIs serve to help determine if a company's strategic, financial, and operational achievements are being met, especially when compared to those of other businesses within the same or similar sectors.
Examples of Financial KPIs
• Growth in Revenue.
• Net Profit Margin.
• Gross Profit Margin.
• Operational Cash Flow.
• Current Accounts Receivables.
• Inventory Turnover.
Setting SMART Strategic goals from the outset, aligned to specific KPIs ensures you have a clear view of how your business is performing and progressing, enabling you to take remedial and adaptive action early on if the game appears to be changing or your plan is not delivering what you expected.