Business building – so you don’t need a business plan?


There are many business building newbies who believe that they don’t need a business plan.  They believe it is only necessary when starting up a new business.  They see no reason for a business plan when buying an existing business which is all set up and running well.  They simply view themselves as the new operator.

The point they fail to grasp is that they are not only a new operator with no runs on the board but they are also the navigator of a directionless investment once the departing owner leaves.

In business, things rarely stay the same for too long!


If you don’t think you need a business plan then put together an action list of things you might need to address to run the business your way or continue building it.  For example:

Change of ownership – Never assume that the former owner’s way is the right way or the wrong way.  Keep an open mind and learn from everyone.  Start jotting down ways in which you can improve what has gone before.  Staff members are looking for direction, so if you do nothing, you may find your staff managing your business their way – the only way they know how!  If you want to change things you need to start leading from the front and ensure everyone starts singing from the same songbook.

Your customers – Firstly, you need to get to know them.  Unless you do this quickly, some will use it as the trigger to leave you.  If they are happy with your present products and services, what else might they want that you can provide?   Can you improve the service?  You need to start building your personal capital and goodwill.

Your products & services – is obsolescence likely to be a factor in the future?  Demand changes all the time.  What can you do bring to the mix?  How can you to stay up to date and keep it fresh?  Can technology add a new dimension to e.g. the product itself or its distribution?  What are your competitors doing?

Your sales system – if sales simply fall into your lap, what can you do to replicate and build sales even further?  Would customers who hardly know you refer you to friends and colleagues?  Are you building a useful sales / communication database?

Manage the process – you need to take the wheel and keep control of your business or it will run off the road.  That means staying on top of pricing, margins, income, expenses, cash flow, breakeven, hiring and firing, human performance, the cost and quality of the product / service creation process – just to name a few.  There is also some admin to do such as compliance, accounts, paying bills, collecting money, BAS, PAYG etc.

Your personal time – if the business needs nothing but a new driver how can you minimize your time behind the wheel, or even replace yourself?

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Until next time!