Insights | Business

No formal business plan yet? No problem!

06 March 2024

No business plan yet?

If January has been and gone, and so has February, and you still haven’t finalised your business plan, don’t despair! We have worked with many businesses who have been in this same boat. There’s still time to set the plan, agree targets and bring the team together like a well-made trifle. Here’s how to get started.

No plan = no problem

All is not lost when you're mid-Q1 and haven’t nailed the annual objectives and targets yet. You know where you are heading.. maybe it’s an increase on the profit made last year, a launch of a new product line, a new hire to get things moving a bit faster..

The name of the game is to get something down on paper, it’s the first step to having a plan.

It’s not too late. Business plans can take many different forms, just get your North Star fixed and follow it.

Get everybody involved

Depending on your size of business, the objectives setting and tactical targets should involve everybody. Whether high level objectives are set by the MD, or part of a bottom-up strategic review, the true power comes in letting everyone have a stake in the creation of the plan. It will result in the wider team being more aligned, and in turn more committed, to achieving the goals.

Strategic plans can bring teams together, use the process to drive motivation, inclusivity and share ownership.

Be realistic

Whether you’re planning to launch a new product this year, update the website, invest in making the team more robust, or any number of things you might be thinking will help you crack open the next level in business success, be realistic.

Set your business no more than 3 objectives. Any more and you will lose focus, run out of time or budget. If you’re working for a larger business each department can set their own objectives, they should all fold up to meet the core corporate objectives, this way all teams are moving toward a common goal.

It's better to do a few things well than a lot of things half baked. Don’t be afraid to focus.

Set the budget

Every business needs to have a finance plan. Overheads, fixed costs, staffing, bank loans, the investment plan. This all needs to be factored along with revenue projections to give you the constraints which you should be working to. Depending on your industry, you’re aiming at taking approximately 3-10% of your profit last year and ring fencing it for building your business this year. Budget for marketing, advertising, research, martech and so on.

Financial planning isn’t the sexiest business activity, but is necessary to move forward in a smart and considered way.

Don’t be afraid to rework the plan

A year is a long time in business; markets and treads can change; competitors mix things up and macro-economic factors can come into play – in the words of Ross Geller you may need to ‘PIVOT!!!!’. And that’s ok if it’s a careful and considered move.

Be adaptable, take opportunities to stay ahead of the competition.

Published by

Katie Lawerence

Marketing and Growth Director