An action plan could save thousands of small businesses from going bust but as many as eighty percent don’t take the time to make one despite its proven success.
I’m not talking about a five-year plan with detailed budget forecasts, but an annual action plan that is reviewed regularly and updated quarterly.
I’ve seen first hand what a simple action plan can do to springboard a business out of debt and into the profit margin. Often it means a business owner no longer needs to look over their shoulder at others chasing overdue payments.
A home security business that was $150,000 in debt to the Tax Office alone spent half a day drawing up an action plan that led to the business being worth five million dollars two years later.
If that business hadn’t taken the time to implement an action plan I don’t think it would be around today.
Bigger corporations understand the importance of having an action plan as well as a long-term business plan but are lucky enough to have departments to map it out for them.
Small to medium sized businesses are time poor and often too busy supplying their product or service to know exactly what their finances, client base and upcoming promotions are.
If business owners can’t do it they need to outsource the action plan to someone who can or they will risk their business going under.
An action plan has five crucial components:
- A clear purpose which means knowing what it is you want to achieve. You might aim to maintain momentum or increase profits, or maybe it’s a lifestyle balance you’re after – so your aim is to step away from the business.
- Support is key to success. Know who will be helping you to achieve your purpose whether it be your existing team, investors, or new partners to collaborate with. Maybe your competitors could become those businesses to collaborate with.
- A timeframe is necessary to keep everything on track. Set milestones. Know what you want to achieve and when.
- Your strategy will look at the steps you take to sell to a different market for example or ways to sell a new product.
- Expected outcomes. Have realistic results that you expect to see. If you’re not seeing those results three months in then review your action plan and make changes to ensure those results you wanted are obtainable. Plan, do and review is essential to ensure you are on track and can make small changes when there is a deviation from the expected results.
To help you achieve the five components, research along the way. Research how other businesses have grown to help you to map out your own action plan for growth. There are many amazing businesses in all industries that are already achieving the results you desire, so why not model them.
And remember an action plan has to be realistic and achievable otherwise you will lose confidence.
About the author:
Terri Billington is an award winning Coach, Corporate Trainer and Profiler. She also holds 15 day and 30 day programs in Bali teaching people how to build a global business. You can find out more at www.tcb.rocks