Business Planning: Bridging the Gap
Once you’ve established where your business is now and where you want to get it to, how are you going to bridge the gap between the two? If the gap is large, it may seem like your objective is just too hard to reach. The answer here is to work backwards from your final goals, planning out the key milestones and benchmarks you need to attain in turn.
Let’s take an example: a former client of mine, an orthodontist, wanted to grow his business. His goals were to 1) increase his annual profits to $300,000 and 2) become a leading authority on Orthodontics by undertaking a nationwide seminar series. This latter objective was a very sensible move business-wise as it meant he would get a lot more referrals from dentists! With both targets in mind, we sat down and worked through some different scenarios looking at the most effective options and the changes needed in his business.
This is what we came up with:
|5 year goal||Annual profit of $300,000||Become leading authority on Orthodontics by undertaking nationwide seminar series|
|3 year goal||2 branches||Gain necessary practical experience to become registered Orthodontics specialist|
|1 year goal||Increase average $ sale amount by $20.||Complete his study course for Orthodontists|
|6 months goal||New reporting system||Implement 6 point customer service strategy|
|3 months goal||Introduce sales targets||Introduce referral system|
|1 month goal||Bring books up to date & install new accounting software||Appoint business mentor|
At first, he thought it was too difficult, but once the required steps were written-down and he adopted the right mind-set, he became enthusiastic and set to with a will!
Having the set the key steps, you need to build your business plan around them, both the financial budgets and cash-flow forecasts and all the other aspects of operating your business. This also includes HR, marketing and business management. The good news is, all of it becomes so much easier when you know exactly what you need to achieve. In the case of my Orthodontist client, he knew he had to find the finance for the second branch, find the right staff, increase his prices, implement an effective reporting system, get sufficient additional patients and so on. All of which could then be worked through and planned for in depth and in advance.
If you need help with planning for success in your business contact Nick on 0800 ASK NICK or email firstname.lastname@example.org.