Business is not financial science; it's about trading, buying and selling. It's about creating a product or service so good that people will pay for it. (Anita Roddick)
There are two types of businesses in this world.
Life's exciting for the first group - flying from one crisis to another. It certainly keeps the adrenalin flowing. But it doesn't flow much less for the second group. I mean look at all the businesses out there whose owners thought they had it all sussed - and then the economic crisis hit.
Of course there are different aspects to this for existing business owners as opposed to those starting out on a new business adventure. If you've been running a business for a couple of years or more, you'll have some results to draw on - even if they're not quite what you expected. But if you're new to business, then either you know the task that's in front of you (and it can seem overwhelming at times), or worse still you have no real idea and can be suddenly faced with unexpected challenges.
Business plans enable you to set targets - to adjust for bumpy rides - and to take action to ensure you still face the most beneficial circumstances possible.
Of course this doesn't automatically follow planning. Some large organisations still produce large glossy business plans that make the office bookshelf look good and rarely do little else. We're not talking planning like that.
Instead we're talking a living plan - one that can be adapted to changes as needed - but which still acts as a framework for the business. In particular it always keeps the core vision at its centre - and everything in it should be tuned to this. If major events necessitate rethinking this core vision, that too is possible.
All of this is not simply theory. For example our own business had a major rethink in 2009. And we came across some software which lets us connect to our clients very simply over the Internet - and vice versa. So no longer are we accountants and business advisors in a certain location. We are now virtual accountants and business advisors - although we choose not to deal outside NZ because that's where we have specialist local knowledge. But the key principles apply everywhere.
This also fits well with developments by RAN ONE - our international affiliation of business advisors. They've been working on new ways of performing SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analyses (and other tools) - particularly via the Net. This fits in well with our enhanced direction. But we didn't see this in normal operations - and all the implications. It was only when we stopped for a break and re-looked at where we were going that it (and some of the less obvious associated issues) became apparent.
So if you are not sure where things are going; if you've got tired and run down by daily fighting of problems associated with your business, or if you just want more direction - even another pair of eyes without the baggage of your involvement in the daily life of the business, why not give us a call. Talking costs nothing - and we might be able to help you get back on top of things.