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Business Planning - Bridging the Gap

Once you’ve established where your business is now and secondly, where you want to get it to, you need to sit down and work out how you’re going to bridge the gap between the two. If the gap is large, it may seem like where you want to get to is just too hard to reach. The answer here is to work backwards from your final goals, planning out the key milestones and benchmarks you need to attain in turn.

Let’s take an example, a former client of mine who’s an orthodontist who wanted to grow his business. His goals were to increase his annual profits to $300,000 and in addition, become a leading authority on Orthodontics by undertaking a seminar series (this latter goal was, of course, a very sensible move business wise as it meant he would get a lot more referrals from dentists!) so we sat down and worked through some different scenarios looking at the most effective options and the changes he needed to make to his business to succeed. This is what we came up with:

Financial Non financial
5 year goal Annual profit of $300,000 Become leading authority on,Orthodontics by undertaking seminar series
3 year goal 2 branches Gain necessary practical experience to become registered Orthodontics specialist
1 year goal Increase average $ sale amount by $50 Complete his study course for Orthodontists
6 month goal New reporting system Implement 6 point customer service strategy
3 month goal Introduce sales targets Introduce referral system
1 month goal Bring books up to date & install new accounting software Appoint business mentor

At first, he thought it was too difficult, but once the required steps were written-down and he adopted the right mind-set, he became enthusiastic and set-to with a will!

Having the set the key steps, you need then to build your business plan around them, both the financial budgets and cash-flow forecasts and all the other aspects of operating your business as well as HR, marketing and how you’re going to manage and control your business, which becomes so much easier when you know exactly what you need to achieve. In the case of my Orthodontist client, he knew he had to find the finance for the second branch, find the right staff, increase his prices, implement an effective reporting system, get sufficient additional patients and so on - all of which could then be worked through and planned for in depth in advance.

If you need help with planning contact Nick on 021 225 6425.