What is keeping Business owners awake at night?
Well in the majority of cases the following issues arise
- Business Planning
- Succession Planning
- Stress & lifestyle
- Protecting the business and family assets
In this communication we will address the BUSINESS PLANNING aspect of “What is keeping you awake at night”, based on the research of B Star, a research house based in Australia. Business planning ranks as the highest of the SME concerns, but often business owners do not know where and how to address this concern.
The majority of business owners do not have business plans, as a rule of thumb, 75% do little or no formal planning. A consistent theme of the research is that they concentrate their efforts on day to day operations, without understanding or reviewing how the business is operating. Failure to plan is attributed to lack of time, skill or experience or a combination of both these factors.
“I don’t have the time to spend on strategic and business planning”
Does that sound like the mould you fit into?
Without adequate planning, small businesses may never develop to become SME’s.
“This is currently a one man operation. I need to let some of it go, and introduce new staff. I need to hire someone”
The need to plan is often extremely challenging for the SME businesses, particularly where they feel swamped by the everyday pressures of operating their business and delivering to customers.
“I am the biggest barrier to growth in my business. I currently have two months’ work on hand. It is too much, I am not coping with the demand. Two of my staff left three months ago, at our busiest time. I have lots of scope for more work, if I could only employ two more staff, but I just haven’t done it. I know it would take 3 months to get them competent. I need to change my headspace, and be more involved in promotion and getting more work in, not trying to do it all”
Does that sound like you?
Business owners need to take positive steps to address the larger issues and make the necessary changes to improve their business.
SME owners are optimistic about their businesses and have ideas, but they don’t have plans to achieve them. BStar’s research shows that 72% of business owners don’t have a business plan and that only 34% dedicate regular time to strategic and business planning. Effective planning requires skill to establish appropriate plans, then to go on to implement and monitor those plans.
Growth plans? I don’t have any. My original plan is 5 years old and hasn’t been updated
Growth planning is not really important to me. It is more important to maintain the margins, and make a profit than just make sales
Is this the type of comment that typifies your ownership style?
Business owners are typically not taking advantage of their opportunities. Some 77% of business owners do not have a detailed plan for the future growth of their business, with only 22% having a plan that specifically focuses on improving the value of their business
I have been extremely concerned about declining sales and profits, but I am already implementing changes in the business. I have a detailed growth plan
Without discipline and regular reviews, planning lacks focus, and may not be relevant to improve business operations and achieve stated goals.
External advisors, such as Insight CA Limited, Chartered Accountants & Business Advisors, should be consulted where the business owner’s need assistance in the area of business planning.
Further to this, as trusted advisors we can also work with the business owners in the areas of Financial Performance, Industry Performance, Governance, Strategic and Operational Performance to name just a few areas