Anyone who is a regular reader of my blog – I hope there are a few! – will know that I am passionate about business planning. I honestly believe that any business, any size and any complexion needs to have a fully thought through plan.
If you run your business without a plan it is like undertaking a journey for the first time without a map. There is a chance you may end up where you want but if you do it will be due to luck rather than intention.
Some business owners find it difficult to plan because they do not have any firm business goals. They may decide, for example, that they want to achieve a particular level of turnover, not because it is a well thought through target leading to the achievement of a bigger goal, but just because they think it is nice round figure to go for.
In my experience, it helps to start with what you need on a personal level. What do you want? Which direction do you want your life to take?
If you are clear on your personal goals, you are much more likely to have a business which is aligned to these goals. And if you have a plan, your business has a fighting chance of delivering against these goals.
I know that sitting down in front of a blank sheet of paper knowing you need to fill it with words and pictures which represent where you need your business to go is intimidating. So I have written a free guide you can download from my website http://www.fionabevanfinancialmanagement.co.uk/guides.php
A problem, which many small business owners have, is a lack of confidence and this lack of confidence impacts their business in various ways:
- Their marketing is poor and they find it difficult to attract the right customers
- They are unable to grow and take on new challenges
- They are unable to price their products/services at the level they need to be profitable
As a business owner you need to understand that your personal confidence levels directly effect your business because, to a large extent, you are your business. Similarly, things which happen in your business life will effect you as an individual.
It is worth, therefore, spending some time thinking about how you can become, and appear, more confident and how this would impact your business.
Time management is something many people struggle with.
Part of the problem I think is with this concept of ‘time management’. We actually cannot manage time at all – it carries on regardless of anything we mere mortals do. We cannot ‘create’ time or make it stand still whilst we catch our breath. All we can do is allocate the tasks we have to the time available.
There are as many different techniques for doing this as there are exponents of ‘time management’ and some will work for some people and some will work for others. Some people just can’t get themselves organised no matter how many techniques they try.
Much of effectively allocating tasks to time is about your frame of mind. If, in fact, subconsciously you quite like being disorganised and see it as part of your personality, no time management technique in the world is going to be effective. For ‘time management’ to be effective you have to really want to be organised.
If you do want to be effective in your working environment the key is to try different methods and see which one works for you.
For a guide to different ‘time management’ you can download a free guide from my website http://www.fionabevanfinancialmanagement.co.uk/guides.php
If you mention forecasting in mixed company you can see a small shudder run around the room.
Many business owners don’t know how much money is in their bank account on a day to day basis and look at their accounts only once a year, so the idea of forecasting for the future leaves them cold.
However, in not doing cash flow forecasting (at the very least) these business owners are putting their businesses at real risk.
Until 2008, when overdrafts were pretty easy to come by, you could get away with not managing your money quite so well. But now the banks are very reluctant to lend money, businesses that don’t ensure they control their cash flow can find themselves really struggling – even if they are profitable.
Forecasting forward can help ensure you don’t suddenly run out of money. If things are going badly you at least have forewarning of when you MUST get some money in and have time to do something about it.
I have written a free guide to help you with forecasting for your business which you can download from my website http://www.fionabevanfinancialmanagement.co.uk/guides.php