2019 is here and there is no better way to begin the year than to start your business planning for the year ahead. Many individuals set new years resolutions, targets and goals. There is no reason why you cannot set new targets and goals for your business!
Where to start?
Start your business planning by completing a SWOT analysis. SWOT analysis covers the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to the business. In addition to the SWOT analysis, also complete a PESTLE analysis. PESTLE analysis covers Political issues, Environmental Issues, Social Issues, Technological issues, Legal issues and Economic issues. By completing these two analysis, we will get a broad understating of the environment our business is operating in.
Once these have been completed, you should have obtained a range of information such as sales figures, number of quotations issued against number of customers joined, staff performance, supplier performance, information (good and bad) relating to your products and services, customer feedback, customer complaints, incidents, improvements the business has made, purchases etc over the past 12 months. This information should easily be accessible if you are retaining your information correctly. You can then begin to review this information to gain an understanding of the performance of the business over the past 12 months. It is crucial that the information you review is FACTUAL information and not just information that we THINK has happened.
From the information you have managed to obtain from the list above, we can begin to identify whether:
- have we issued enough quotations;
- have we have hit our sales targets;
- are we offering products and services that our customers need;
- how are our staff performing;
- are there any training requirements;
- have we received any customer complaints, were there any trends;
- were there any incidents;
- suppliers performance;
- subcontractor performance;
- purchases made have met requirements
We recommend that you document the results of your review for the following reasons:
1 – You do not forget the outcome;
2 – You can refer back to the results at any time;
3 – You can compare these results to the next years results;
4 – Set targets and make improvements
Set targets for the year ahead
From the information that we have now reviewed, we now have an understanding of:
- what areas of the business have been successful;
- what areas of the business have met requirements;
- what areas of the business have been unsuccessful;
- have we got sufficient resources in place;
- are our staff competent or do they need further training
From the areas that have been identified as unsuccessful/not met requirements, we can now set objectives on how we can improve those areas of the business.
We recommend that you set an Objective Planner that identifies the following headings:
1 – The Objective;
2 – Specific target;
3 – What will be done;
4 – Resources Required;
5 – Who is responsible for the objective;
6 – Objective start date;
7 – Objective end date;
8 – How the results will be evaluated
By focusing on your business planning and these objectives and targets, you can then carry out the same exercise come January 2020 to see whether you have reached your targets. If you have reached your targets and exceeded them, you will be sure to have a more successful and effective business than the previous 12 months!
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