Business Planning

S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Goals

When you set goals for yourself or for your business it always pays to remember S.M.A.R.T.E.R. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Tangible, Ethical, Resourced)

So it is with your Business Plan.  The purpose of a Business Plan is to plot the course upon which you plan to take the business over the next three to five years.  With this in mind, it therefore needs to be something that is equally motivating to your staff as it is informational to your accountant and your bank manager and instructive to your management team.

S

Specific / Significant / Stretching

Your business must grow at least as quickly as costs and inflation escalate, or you will soon be out of business.  Make the targets for which you aim difficult but within the capabilities of yourself and your people… and your cashflow and the amount of working capital you have employed in your business.  Resource allocation and decision-making should be governed by the boundaries set in your business plan.

T

Tangible / Timely / Trackable

Have you allowed the right length of time for each milestone to be met?  If you leave too little time you will quickly become discouraged.  Too much and the energy will go out of the effort and into something else.  Make your milestones mean something… rewards or celebration or recognition.  Then follow through and make sure the people involved see those rewards and celebrations being distributed.  It’s important!

M

Measurable / Meaningful / Motivational

Your business must grow at least as quickly as costs and inflation escalate, or you will soon be out of business.  Make the targets for which you aim difficult but within the capabilities of yourself and your people… and your cashflow and the amount of working capital you have employed in your business.  Resource allocation and decision-making should be governed by the boundaries set in your business plan.

E

Ethical / Equitable

Your business must grow at least as quickly as costs and inflation escalate, or you will soon be out of business.  Make the targets for which you aim difficult but within the capabilities of yourself and your people… and your cashflow and the amount of working capital you have employed in your business.  Resource allocation and decision-making should be governed by the boundaries set in your business plan.

A

Attainable / Action-oriented / Agreed

The best-laid plans of mice and men… Your business is comprised of you, your staff, your customers and your suppliers.  Know what you can expect from each of those parties and how you will get the tools and efforts to deliver upon your expectations.  There’s no good in setting off on a five-year journey if no-one around you believes you can do what you’re about to attempt.  That’s not to say you shouldn’t be prepared to surprise them all with determination and results.

R

Resourced / Researched / Reinvest

What will be the effect of taking resources and people from any existing business / tasks and devoting them to a new project?  Will it reduce the business’s capacity to meet its financial and service requirements?  Time spent on reconnaissance and research is seldom wasted.  Have you worked out the size and appetite of the market for your proposed product or service?  Is it already an idea past its time?  Finally, have you planned to reinvest profits and results into growth of the existing project and the new project?  After all, the primary reason for most business failures comes down to a lack of research; a lack of resources or a lack of commitment.

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I highly recommend Oakshield, they helped us sell our business and was fantastic through the whole process. With great advice and direction, and with the support of the Oakshield team our business was sold within 2 weeks of listing.
LUCKY PARK

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