A strategic plan is fundamental, it sets out the company’s strategic direction. It defines its main operating and financial targets, the actions it will take to achieve those objectives, the new initiatives and investments planned, and their impact on the company’s performance.
The top mistakes business owners can make when it comes to planning are:
- They don’t have a plan at all
- They don’t have a formal plan, it’s in their head which is difficult to share with others
- They don’t have an implementation timetable attached to their plan
- They don’t have a mechanism in place to conduct regular reviews
Without a comprehensive, up-to-date strategic plan and an implementation timetable, companies may be missing out on opportunities for growth and not realising their full potential. A formal plan can be an extremely valuable tool for managing and growing a business, as it allows a company to recognise its strengths and weaknesses.
Not spending quality time on strategic planning usually leads to a chaotic working environment. Our clients often talk about ‘not feeling in control’ and ‘not really knowing what is coming around the next corner’. When the plan is weak, business owners tend to operate without the same sense of conviction as those who allocate time and expertise to the planning process. Our CFOs often find that their clients have done some good planning and strategic thinking but need a devil’s advocate to ask the right questions and help to steer the ship in the right direction.
Being a CEO without a high-level finance person to bounce ideas off can be tough. CFOs often possess a different albeit complementary set of skills to CEOs/MDs. It is natural for business owners to bring people into the company who see the world in the same way they do. However, it is often more valuable to have key members of your team who possess very different skills to your own.
Constantly doing the same things in the same way with the same people will usually lead to achieving the same results. If you are worried about whether you have the right team in place to fulfil the vision you have for your business, or whether you have the funds you require, or whether your business plan is sufficient to reach your objectives, then we would recommend you take the time out to work through the detail. It is rare to see a company succeed if it doesn’t have a robust plan.
Our part-time CFOs often work with clients who started off with intentions to run a business and have ended up working in a job. However, with the right business plan in place and a robust implementation approach, the business owner is able to run the business without getting drawn too far into the day-to-day details. Contact Us if you would like to discuss your options.
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