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Start up series: The Importance of a Business Plan

“A goal without a plan is just a wish” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin

What is a business plan?

A business plan is essential when starting a business. It is a working document to build up your initial business idea, calculate your startup and running costs and research how viable your business may be. A clear business plan can also be an important tool when speaking to banks and others about obtaining finance.

On a relatively basic level planning can include such areas as short term cash flow, short term budgets and forecasts which address business expenditure and tax and VAT payments. Strategic planning is concerned with the longer term vision and objectives. This may include your own objectives as well as those of the business. Without direction, sound analysis, clear projections, and well-thought out contingencies, businesses can become hostages to fortune.

I’m not applying for finance – do I still need a business plan?

A well thought through business plan is a useful working document, even if you are not presenting it to a bank or investor.  It can be used by the business owner as a strategic plan setting out the aims and goals of the business. A good business plan should include quantifiable goals through which performance can be tracked and monitored against. It will allow you to see how your new business is doing and if there are areas that need to be changed to help you to hit your business goals.

Why do some business owners not have a strategic plan?

Very often as an owner of a business you struggle to find the time to sit down and develop strategic plans. You end up flying by the seat of your pants, trusting your intuitions and relying on snap judgments rather than adhering to a pre-arranged strategy.

Without planning proactive management is replaced by reactive coping. Instead of following a well-thought-out plan, owners and managers are reduced to responding to unforeseen events, or trying to catch up on missed opportunities.

You can end up spending all of your time working in the business making sure your customers receive the service they expect, your suppliers are paid on time and your team are working effectively and efficiently. So the opportunities to spend time working on the business and taking an overview are limited.

Plan to Succeed with DNG

In our capacity as accountants and business advisers we work with many businesses that benefit from sound business planning.

We have clear insight into effective business planning based on years of experience. We see the ebb and flow of business as it moves through various stages of development. With our help you can plan each of these stages to ensure they are successful and profitable. Areas we would consider include start-up, acquisition of business premises and other business assets, identification of the profitable and not so profitable products and service lines, frequency and form of business reporting and the likely tax impact of business decisions.

This is why we encourage our clients to schedule regular planning sessions. We can help you:

  • Formulate and implement long-term strategic goals
  • Set concrete operational objectives
  • Monitor performance and adjust plans accordingly

Click here for more information on the services we provide to help business start ups to grow and thrive.

Start up Blog Series

Next week’s blog will be on the benefits of an accountant to a new business. We will be publishing further blogs on new start up businesses throughout May, so keep visiting our website for more information. To read earlier blogs in the series click here. For advice regarding any of the topics we have covered please contact us. We will be happy to help you and your new business start up to grow and thrive.

Ian Lowry



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