Business owners often feel overwhelmed, like they’re not in control of their business. The number of hours they’re working starts creeping up, they start experiencing more stress, and it starts affecting their personal life.
So, how do you regain that much needed control? How do we gain more productivity, time and freedom?
There are three essential tools all businesses must have:
- An annual business plan.
- An annual forecast.
- Ongoing reporting and accountability.
The Annual Business Plan
Your Business Plan shouldn’t be a lengthy document living in a drawer. It should be written down on one page and displayed somewhere highly visible so you can review it regularly.
Best developed using an independent facilitator, your Business Plan should articulate exactly what you want from your business; the hours you want to work, the lifestyle you want to have, and the income you need.
You’ll identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to monitor, vulnerabilities to manage, and opportunities to act upon. You’ll set four key goals for the year, breaking these down into quarterly goals with clear actions to complete in order to achieve them.
The Annual Forecast
Your forecast will record how cash must flow throughout the year to give you what you want from your business. Too often business owners only create a forecast because the bank has requested one.
The forecast highlights your business’s weaknesses, when cashflow problems might arise, and how you need to manage your business financially to achieve the goals in your Business Plan. Don’t wait for your bank to request a forecast; it’s an essential tool to ensure the success of your business every year.
Ongoing Reporting and Accountability
The value lies in the implementation of your Business Plan and annual forecast. Constantly reviewing your progress against your targets is crucial. Ongoing reporting allows you to track actual results against your forecast to ensure progress towards your goals.
The best way to ensure you don’t fail to implement the plan is to be held accountable by someone independent. Every business owner needs a coach. This person could be your accountant, someone who understands your business. A great coach will work with you to get a result better than you could achieve on your own. They’ll uncover the root causes of problems in your business and empower you to do better. Most importantly, they’ll hold you accountable to getting the important stuff done.
There are no silver bullets to business success. All businesses need these three tools.
Get in touch to discuss how we can work together – to stop feeling stuck in your business and ensure your business achieve your vision.