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Real business success can’t be put down to chance and luck. It comes from a result of hard work, enthusiasm and great planning. A well thought out business plan is essential to get an enterprise off to the best possible start, but it should be reviewed and renewed at regular intervals. The start of a new quarter is the ideal time to do this. A report by Salesforce Blog gave tips on how to improve businesses planning for 2017. Here, Justin Cobb reviews the report and considers the importance of the second half of the business year.
“As the second quarter of the financial year is here, one of the first things I do is look at my existing business plan, and consider how my experiences of the past few months can change it,” said Justin Cobb. “Thorough planning helps you cope with everything that the coming few months will have in store, and allows you to react quicker when opportunities arise. This will give you a competitive advantage over your business rivals.”
The article is based on processes that one company implemented to make their processes more efficient and to improve results throughout the year. The first step that needs to be taken to achieve this is to reflect upon the lessons of the previous financial quarter. The world of business can be very fast paced, but it helps to take a moment to consider how the past can impact upon the future. Asking the right questions, and finding honest answers, is essential at this stage. What went well, and what didn’t go so well? What are your key metrics? What risks and opportunities did you face, and how did you react to these? What assumptions did you make about your company, and would you still make the same assumptions today?
The answers to these questions will help you make a new business plan that’s more accurate, and based on experience rather than just projections. There will still have to be some assumptions made, of course, for example, it’s important to consider how the economy will perform later in the year and how this will affect your business sector. You can use your new plan to identify training opportunities, or areas that could be strengthened through outsourcing or diversification.
“Don’t try to make your business plan too in-depth or too complex,” advises Justin Cobb. “Keep it simple, and frequently check on the progress of your goals. The lead up to the end of 2017 should be the year that you see your revenue increase, and new customers gained and retained.”