According to the Santam start-up survey conducted on over 600 South African entrepreneurs, most small businesses said pre-planning took less than 6 months and that finances were the biggest challenge in this start up period. Planning plays an essential role in business success. Being prepared for financial challenges along the way can help you find solutions quickly and effectively. What’s the best way to approach planning priorities and map out milestones for the future?
Your business plan is your compass
Where do you see your business in a year? Making the conscious decision to sit down and write a business plan increases your chance of success. Aligning your business plan with your start-up goals and objectives is an important part of the planning process. Be realistic about your starting point; consider your resources and how you will support a shared vision when working with others. As a small business owner, you need to add timelines to your business journey so that you can navigate your way through unchartered territory.
Outlining your financial needs
Does it take lots of capital to effectively make more money? Not necessarily. It is important to be realistic about the money you are going to start with; how much you will use for day-to-day operations and what you will need to protect your venture from damages and liability. Having a business plan with a succinct and clear vision could give investors the confidence to invest in your small business.
Improving your business performance
The key is preparation. There is a direct link between the level of preparation and how your business performs. Planning for potential risks and challenges helps prepare for these circumstances long before they happen. In the same breath, preparing for an opportunity and how you will use it in the future is beneficial in making solid business decisions. Over time, you can optimise resources; learn from past mistakes and get a greater understanding of your market.
Assessing your company’s potential
It’s important to have an unbiased approach towards your business venture. Knowing exactly where you want to be is just as important as identifying strengths and weaknesses. Having confidence in the execution of your business idea is necessary in establishing whether your small business will fulfill its desired potential.
Want to learn more about planning for your small business? Click here to find out more about the 1001 Days web series where two South African entrepreneurs from different industries share advice for start-ups and relay their own challenges and lessons learnt.