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Plan to make business bigger, better 12 Feb 2015

“Planning is critical.”     – From Colyn Devereux-K Fragrance Holdings

Accountants talk of budgeting. This is putting dollar amounts to a business plan. What is a business plan? It’s anything you like! Why do we urge you to plan? You’ll get better profits if your plan is a success.

It doesn’t matter how small your business is, planning should make it bigger. For small businesses best results are likely if you focus on boosting sales – but NOT at cut prices.

Don’t think of a number and say: “That’s my target.” Do think of a number and think about how you will achieve this. Write down your plan.

  • Who is going to do what? 
  • How much is going to be done?
  • By what date?

We call this an action plan.

Now, hold regular meetings with your spouse/partner/friend to review how you’re doing. Always stretch a bit. It’s not good business planning to set easy targets.

The following example might help.

I’m a painter and have just set up in business from home. I decide sales of $50,000 should be realistic for my first full year. My main problem is to establish a regular flow of work.

  • I decide I need to be better known, so joining an organisation which will achieve this should be in the plan. Be sure to get on the committee. It’s important to be seen. Offer your services. Don’t wait to be asked, as that might not happen. Look for other realistic ways to boost your business:
  • Advertising? I would probably leave that off my list. It’s a hit and miss affair.
  • Meeting people who might refer work to me is high priority.
  • So I’m not forgotten, I’ll send out newsletters and, of course, I’ll make use of the social media.
  • I’ll also send a card each year or ring the customer on the anniversary of when the job was done to make sure they're happy with the work.
  • When I’ve completed jobs, I’ll ask for references I can post on my website to help me be successful when tendering.
  • When I do tender, I’ll be sure to explain the advantages of choosing me.
  • I’ll use the advantage of being solo. All the work is done by a professional – me.
  • I’ll be first in with my tenders because I know most people want instant gratification and hence they won’t want to wait for the slow coaches, or those who never respond.
  • When I do each job, I’ll discuss with the owner how to make the paint job last as long as possible. I’ll tell them about regularly washing the house and other simple maintenance.
  • I know people damage the walls so I’ll also offer to return annually or after two years (your call) to touch up where needed, for which I’ll charge an hourly rate.
  • I’ll make sure when the house does need a repaint, I’m the only one considered for the job, by keeping in touch and providing excellent service.
  • I’ll always ask the customer if they know of anyone else who needs some painting done.

Have we got you thinking? You could plan and boost your income. Try it NOW. You must write your plan down. Then follow it. The more thinking you do the better. No pie in the sky targets, please.

Putting dollars to your plan (budgeting) will confirm it’s workable.

Finally, if all seems to be going to plan, check regularly to ensure you’re making a profit. 

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