Start with the "Thinking"
So many businesses miss out on the ‘thinking’ stage of business strategy. Our advice is to take your time, assess where you’re at and where you fit into your own business sector
So, it’s time to realistically review your Business Plan & Strategy to move forward. We often find that Business plans are created then never revisited! Of course, with all the best will in the world a plan should be reviewed and updated as your business establishes and grows. Building it as part of your business review ensures it is relevant and realistic.
Think of it as a ‘Business Review’ whether you do it yourself or have an independent consultant (like us) involved, the benefits will shine through.
The first stage is to step back and review your place within your market. Look at your competitors and see what your own stats say about your business.
Let’s assume your business is now established and maybe looking for investment or adding addition products or services for growth. Now is the time to review where you’re at and look at the real impact over the entire business. We’re not just referring to the product or service; but the people who work for you and your entire brand identity.
One particular consideration that is so often forgotten - is to get across the belief and passion to your investors or stakeholders.
A business plan is so much more thana collection of related facts. Therefore, a good start point is to define a Business plan structure as part of your review.
- It is a Sales Tool to define your offer
- It is a holding point of all related credible information
- It is showing both the understanding and ability to maximise the opportunity
- It is engaging and well presented - main points must be referenced to prove the relevance and accuracy
- The Financial summary must be clear, compelling and certainly add up!
So you have a plan and you’re ready for your next step – here’s a flavour of our own approach when supporting businesses through the implementation phase:
Firstly by getting together, giving an ‘outside perspective’ on your business and reviewing what the business really needs, not just offering a standard solution. We support with the initial ‘thinking’ and research to help get a realistic perspective before we begin.
How to get the thinking started
Every business is different but whether you sell a product or a service; there are a few key elements to include ensuring you are starting in an informed and relevant place
Market Data – to establish your place within the market
Based on research, review your market in terms of size and opportunity, including current and future trends. E.g. current influences, trading climate, customer demand and potential changes
Company Data – to establish your current position
Take a view on your own company data such as Sales stats, margins, stock availability, in house skills, investment plans, market intelligence and feedback
Competitive Data – who else is in your space?
Research other similar businesses, not only who is new but also who is no longer there. Are there other competitors supplying your potential customers? Look at their offer in comparison to yours (of course an unknown is how successful it is for them)
Once you’ve completed your research, you can move onto the ‘thinking’ stage to flush out your relevant next steps.
Using your research results, define your offer (Product / Service) encapsulated into your Value Proposition (VP) ready to plan implementation
A time to review your business expectation – in terms of revenue, margin, investment, training needs, suitable premises and so much more
Now it’s time to deliver your plan. Make it measureable so you can track progress and use a process to check and amend as you go!
How we help
We offer tailored packages that provide both clarity and benefits to your business - We are impartial, experienced and very much on your side!
We would always suggest the earlier you review in the process of creation, the better.
We offer three starting packages which are:
- Initial Review - Review, comment and expand on what
has been produced. Our perspective will be very much through the eyes of an
investor / stakeholder.
- This review and feedback is conducted over a Half day and can save you much time and heartache.
and Plan Next Steps –
following on from the initial review we then focus on how the plan adds
benefits to the target Customer. (as outlined within this blog) Can your plan
be supported? We help assess if the approach is concise and can be structured
as a cohesive strategy. This is the detail that is then formed into a ‘value
- This review and delivery is in the form of a questionnaire and is completed over the day within the business.
it Happen - To ensure
the Business Plan is well received particularly if intended to appeal to
investors and potentially larger customers, much more will need to be
considered. We support this by ‘auditing’ the business from a potential ‘customer’
perspective. This audit is to assist the business to prepare and understand
what is required; including basic risk and perception analysis. A great example
of this is to appreciate customers perceptions are formed from the moment
- This package offers most value if conducted with (2) and takes an additional day. This includes a written report and feedback on the day.
We offer a specialist service to both assist in the formation and critique of your business plan to help ensure success with a realistic outcome.
We help by supporting clients to ask the right questions, review the current status and overlay with future direction. This helps to give some of the answers that will put the business in a positive position for a changed reality and a more profitable outcome
Contact Paul to arrange a virtual chat or meet up to go through some ideas of how we can help you!