You’ve been in business for a few years now. You’ve gone through the teething stages and made a name for yourself in your field. But what next?
While some businesses may be more than happy to stay at their current level, you may be wondering how to reach the next milestone. Well, before you take out a loan to pay for a new lease or buy any more equipment, you’ll want to start with your business plan.
Failing to plan accordingly squeeze the brakes on your progression, hurtle you into the tire wall or prevent you from leaving the pits at all. We don’t want that, so here are some tips on how to create a business plan for the next stage of your venture.
Keep track of your cashflow
In your original business plan, you no doubt included come essential financial documents, such as your profit and loss, cashflow, and balance sheets. These tell the story of your business’s financial health, and will be extremely relevant as you aim to expand the organisation.
After all, if you want to achieve sustainable growth, you need stability — in other words, you need more money coming in than is going out without drastic changes.
Controlling the money coming in and going out is, therefore, the first step towards ensuring you have the capital to affordably grow your operation.
For practical advice on how to improve your cashflow, our previous article on top cashflow management tips, can help point you in the right direction.
Reassess your goals
When you start a new business, your passion and ambition can sometimes get the better of you. You may plan for a number of substantial business moves which sadly haven’t come to fruition yet.
As business can be so unpredictable, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes, you just get sidetracked.
So, take another look at your business goals. Your experience might tell you a couple are slightly unrealistic to implement right now. If this is the case, you can ground them and try and aim for something that’ll be easier to achieve.
Wholesale change takes time. Split it into smaller goals, and you’ll get there.
Analyse your processes
When you’re a smaller business, you may decide to take the brunt of the admin and compliance work on yourself. If you’re going to expand, though, you’ll need to make sure that your workload doesn’t become so large that you lose focus on the wider business and achieving your goals.
Now would be the perfect time to see whether you could streamline any of your workloads and give yourself some breathing space to focus on the bigger picture.
This could be by purchasing some top-level accounting software, or hiring an accountant to take the reins of your financial admin. The more streamlined you make your workload now, the smoother things will be further down the line.
Identify funding sources
They say money makes the world go around. Whether or not that’s true, one thing is certain: money makes business expansions possible.
In order to reach the next level of your business’s lifecycle, you’ll need the capital to fund it. But how much? Sit down with your accountant, crunch the numbers and work out what it’ll cost for you to grow.
Once you have a figure in mind, you can then start to explore funding opportunities, and chances are you’ll need a source of outside investment.
Maybe you could take out a business loan or perhaps approach an investor; Whatever the route, you’ll just need to ensure your business plan provides potential investors with information on how you’ll spend the money and when they can expect a return on their investment.
Speak to us
If you have an ambitious approach to business, you still need to plan carefully. Failing to do so can result in hampered growth or worse.
We love ambition, and we’re here to help nurture it. We work closely with business owners such as yourselves to help them drive their plan forward.
Looking for practical advice to help develop your business? Contact a member of our team to see how we can help.