- Most SMBs don’t know where they will be in a month, let alone in five years, so expecting them to write a business plan is really a difficult task.
- For those SMEs who manage to write one, the fact is that some of these business plans may still be unrealistic, with all the dreams of the owners reflecting, not necessarily what is achievable.
Writing a business plan can be quite overwhelming, especially for SMEs. Most SMBs don’t know where they will be in a month, let alone in five years, so expecting them to write a business plan is really a difficult task.
For those SMEs who manage to write one, the fact is that some of these business plans may still be unrealistic, with all the dreams of the owners reflecting, not necessarily what is achievable.
Truth be told, even the most realistic well-thought-out business plan is just a pile of paper, if not implemented. So we need to be clear on how you can implement a successful business plan and derive value from it.
We write business plans to enable us to chart a clear path to success in a market that is becoming more competitive by the day.
By its very nature, competition constantly scans the market for opportunities to outdo itself and win more customers. Companies are innovating new ways to gain competitive advantage. So you have to be smart to stay at the top of your league.
Smart enough companies earn more money and profit even if the market is tough, while weak companies are squeezed out of the market.
Businesses that continuously scan the environment and are sensitive to changing market trends have a survival and growth advantage over traditionally modeled casual businesses.
So what do SMEs need to do to successfully implement an impactful business plan and achieve maximum results?
To successfully implement a business plan and get the most benefit from it, you need to be able to break down ideas and strategies into a few measurable steps and processes.
Proper implementation can easily place your business in the enviable club of companies that are experiencing “greater than 30% growth” faster than you ever thought possible.
Below we discuss seven processes companies can follow in implementing their business plans.
The goal of proper implementation is for your business to be able to achieve optimal results, achieve faster growth, earn above-average profits, and generate healthy cash flow in the shortest time possible.
First, you need to go back to basics by asking and answering the following questions. Is your business plan realistic? Does it have clear goals, objectives, and goals that align with your aspirations?
If you do a quick analysis of your business plan, can you identify any fantasies that will be harder to achieve? The sooner these fantasies are removed from your plan, the better for you and your business.
Second, assign roles. Once you have your business plan and set your goals, be sure to assign someone responsible for each task so that roles are clearly defined and there is accountability in carrying out the tasks. tasks.
Allow creativity and innovation in how each person performs assigned tasks, guided only by company policies and procedures.
Third, develop a one-page business plan to quickly outline your strategy. This one-page document will ensure you stay relevant to your cause.
Use this document to periodically review your high-level strategy. Maybe your target market has changed. Ask yourself if you are always solving the same problem for your customers.
Share this document with new hires to give them a clear picture and direction of your overall strategy. Ask employees for their feedback on the processes and activities they need to undertake to achieve the plan.
Encourage employees to express themselves freely and set up reward systems for employees who come up with brilliant ideas or compelling critiques of the plan.
Whenever there is a change in the strategic direction of a business, the best thing to do is revise the strategy and business plan. But pursuing goals that differ from those you’ve documented in your strategy will confuse and force the team to work at cross purposes, setting you on the path to failure.
Fourth, set milestones for what you plan to accomplish. Goals can be short, medium and long term. Assign these goals to team members.
Each objective should be associated with an appropriate time frame. You must be aggressive, yet reasonable with your time allocation to ensure not only completion but also excellent work.
Allocate some of your budget if needed, as most goals will require resources. Objectives must be SMART and therefore able to be measured.
SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.
SMART goals will give your business structure and support and more clearly define what you want to achieve and by when.
Fifth, keep an eye on your finances by constantly reviewing and monitoring them. Review regularly with your finance team to manage revenue, costs, cash flow, and any tax exposure.
Compare your planned budgets and forecasts with your actual results at least once a month. Keep your sales forecast and expense budget up to date.
As you learn more about customer buying habits, revise your predictions. Performance is largely driven by sales and how much we spend to generate the sales.
Review your gross margin to make sure your operations are on budget. Make a chart to chart your progress over time. Do this for each key performance parameter and each matrix.
This will maintain the visual effect and draw your immediate attention to areas that need immediate correction. We remember more by seeing than by hearing.
So pin these graphics in the conference room, in the office, and in places where those who need to see them can easily see them all the time.
Sixth, schedule a monthly review with all team leaders to leverage your business plan as an engine of growth. The review should take no longer than an hour, but it should be a recurring monthly meeting on your schedule.
In the monthly review, review your key numbers against your plan, review the milestones you planned to accomplish, set new milestones, and do a quick review of your overall strategy.
You or a member of your management team should be responsible for tracking the progress of each task and the percentage of completion for each goal.
In case of delay, try to go to the source of the problem. Determine if you can continue to operate as you do or if you need to make changes, such as cutting costs, raising prices, or increasing marketing.
Make adjustments to your plan based on the results.
Finally, join a professional association or networking group. Business plans are always dynamic and evolving. Be sure to join a networking group so you can keep up to date with on-the-ground market knowledge, connections, and legal and financial updates.
You can also get new insights and ideas that drastically change your perspective, forcing you to react and change accordingly. Do not be totally constrained in your business plan, you always have to see what is happening around you.