4 Key questions to ask when you are planning

Every business needs a plan.  In fact, once you have set your goals, you cannot move forward without planning on how to reach those goals.  The better the planning process, the better your results will be.  It is crucial to have a written plan if you want your business to succeed in the long run.

A written plan also helps you achieve the following:

  • It keeps you focused
  • It allows you to make better business decisions
  • It eliminates the feeling of overwhelm
  • It ensures you’re working on the right activities
  • It saves you time by cutting out the time-wasters
  • It gives you a tool to convey to others where your business is headed

When planning for your small business, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Is it affordable?

Finances play a big part in many strategies.  Consider the costs of advertising, transportation, resources, postage, and any other resources you will need for your plan.

2. Is it achievable?

Are the set goals realistically achievable?  Do you really have the money, time, support, facilities, and personnel to achieve the planned outcomes?  It is better to start small and build into a larger project as others join the team and key support is given in other important areas.

3. Is it sustainable?

If your business plan is successful, it is certainly worth repeating.  It may also be the case that your plan is part of an ongoing strategy, in which case you will need to keep looking ahead in order to organise what is needed to sustain your business.

4. Can it be evaluated?

All aspects of your business plan should be able to be evaluated (eg. finances, training, personnel, etc).  For ongoing business activities, definite and regular evaluation times must be set and adhered to.  Also be sure to examine how this venture contributed towards your overall business strategic plan.