Starting a small business takes a lot of planning, dedication and courage. It is often coupled with personal goals to enable work life balance, follow a passion, or to simply have a side hustle for some extra money. Once the business is up and running though, often business owners are so busy on the day to day operations of their business that it is rare to think about the future.
It would be such a shame to let all that you have invested in yourself and your business go to waste if you had to close your business. So, how are you going to make sure you have a business in the future?
It is important to take the time to think about what the business needs to do to still be operating in 1, 3, 5 and even 10 years time and put in place a plan to make this happen.
We have listed some key areas to think about and develop into a plan.
Clients – consider the type of clients you need to cover costs and make a profit (adhoc clients versus repeat clients). Consider how many clients you might lose or gain each year and the number of hours per week your business will need to operate to meet those client needs.
Employees – consider how will your current workforce grow with your business and who might leave. Some roles might be harder to fill (internally or externally) than others. If you plan to grow your business you will need to consider which tasks you need and how many people / hours will be required and resource accordingly.
Information sharing – there is new technology available all the time to assist with completing tasks online and remotely. This also assists with covering workloads due to leave coverage or resignations. Ensure both your business, employees and clients are all ready for technology changes.
Financials – you need to manage your finances to ensure you have sufficient monthly cash flow to meet budgets and to achieve targets. You want to be able to pay back start up loans, cover wages and bills, plus make a profit to live the life you want.
Assets – consider the type of assets you have such as physical buildings, technology and equipment, and machinery. Consider the maintenance and replacement lifecycle of these items and the most efficient way to access these items (example, leased or owned).
Branding – there are a number of branding options such as social media, websites, networking, email lists and newsletters. Depending on the range of clients and the income requirements of your business, consider the best way to connect with your clients and attract new clients.
Services or products – the services and products that you are offering today might not be suitable in the future. Consider changes in the industry and of your clients as well as the work that you want to be offering. Consider the resourcing required and profit margins.
Suppliers – you might be able to be consolidate suppliers to ensure a better price or you might be able to negotiate the terms and conditions of your contracts.
With the right business planning in place your business will be in the best position to continue to be successful into the future.
To access our business planning template or for further assistance with planning the future of your business contact Small Business Society .
The information provided in this document is for your guidance only and is general in nature. It does not constitute as legal advice. It is the responsibility of the individual to seek legal advice where required.
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About Kate Tongue
Kate Tongue is the founding Director of Small Business Society.
She is a qualified and experienced Human Resources professional with more than 10 years of experience across the private and public sectors.
Her particular interest and experience is in managing the employee life cycle, delivering process improvements, and Human Resource strategy.
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