Review your business plan and stay on track for the year ahead…

Business owners often sit down in January and use the time to take stock of their businesses. They make a business plan outlining the goals they’re hoping to achieve in the year ahead.

This is all well and good but what happens when you get back to work? You get distracted and lose sight of the goals.

That’s why it’s important to revisit and review your business plan. And March is the perfect time to do that…

The benefits of the NZ financial year

In January, after the break, the ‘doing’ in your business takes over and the goals in your business plan often get lost.

There’s usually a backlog of things to do because you’ve been away. So you get inundated with all the things you need to do and soon forget about the plans you made earlier in the month.

Most of us in business in New Zealand benefit from the fact that our financial year finishes on March 31st. It gives us an ideal opportunity to review our business plan and revisit the goals we set: like a second chance to realign our goals and work again towards hitting them.

If you didn’t make a business plan in January – don’t worry. It’s not too late. You can do it now – and make it for the Financial Year ending 31st March 2019.

Why make a new year business plan – and what should it look like?

For NZ businesses, making a business plan is a fool-proof way of staying on track with your main goals. It is integral to any successful business.

Ideally, your business plan should be one page in length and cover off your goals and how you’re going to achieve them.

These goals should be specific and measurable; and names should be put on them to designate who is responsible for achieving them. They should also be timely – with dates assigned.

This one-page business plan should be reviewed not only at the start of the new financial year, but  on a quarterly basis.

The action of reviewing a business plan regularly throughout the year ensures constant progress towards achieving goals.

Essentially, making a business plan in isolation, glancing at it once a year, and not having someone to hold you accountable is a waste of time.

Summary of the benefits of a good business plan

In summary, an effective business plan should see you end up with:

  • A current and relevant plan to guide your business
  • A series of realistic and measurable goals
  • Clear strategies to achieve your goals with accountability
  • A plan for regular review of goals to accommodate changes in circumstances

As a result of your business plan, individuals within the business should have their own goals to aim for.

Ideally, in a small business, these should be broken down by person and by quarter. There should be no more than three major goals in total and, ideally, one major goal per person per quarter.

March is the perfect time to review your business plan and to put measurable outcomes in place for everyone in your business for the financial year ahead. This will provide a clear roadmap for the business and clear accountability for everyone in it.

Now you know the basics of creating an effective business plan, feel free to contact us for further advice on writing your business plan or to appoint an ‘accountability partner’.