Business planning series – Part 10: action plans and goals

Welcome to part 10 of our business planning
series – Action planning, goal setting and improving results
In order for your business goals to become a reality, you need to develop an action plan
to identify the tasks you need to complete to achieve your goals, as well as the resources
required. An Action Plan is a ‘living’ document
and forms part of your overall Business Plan. It lists the tasks you need to undertake to
ensure you achieve all your business goals. It needs to be monitored, reviewed and updated
regularly along with your Business Plan. You’ll find the SMART way to word your goals
very effective. A SMART goal is defined as one that is: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic
and Time framed An Action Plan breaks down your business goals
into small projects or strategies to implement in the business. The success of your business
will rely on your ability to determine the actions required and to prioritise them. We have used the term ‘living document’
to describe a business plan, this means it should be regularly reviewed and updated to
keep up with the business’ performance and achievement of goals. Why bother analysing and checking your business’s
performance against the business plan you ask? There are a number of very good reasons,
including: To protect your investment. You’ve put a
lot of your time, effort and money into the business.
To maximise your return on investment. To measure business performance by analysing
and evaluating your performance against the business plan so that you will know how the
business is actually performing. To help you identify valuable opportunities
to increase sales, revenues and profits and to reduce costs or limit losses, therefore
maintaining your competitive advantage. To allow you to revisit goals and objectives
as your business changes. To enable you to remain in control of your
business. Whether you are starting up, or looking to
grow, your business plan will explain all the important aspects of your business. Get
planning and good luck.

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