How clear targets can keep businesses focused on success
One in four small businesses in the UK is not using a business plan, meaning they are at risk of missing out on growth opportunities and losing direction.
The research from Barclays says 23% of businesses lack as plan, despite it being viewed as one of the key instruments in driving success.
Less than half of SMEs in the UK have a formal business plan that exists in a recorded or written format, while 25% have verbal plans in place.
One in two firms has a succession plan in place meaning many would suffer should a key figure leave the company for any reason.
A business plan sets out what a company wants to achieve in certain time periods and the goals can then be used to measure success.
At the same time any plans are very dynamic as they can be altered to reflect changing business climates or situations.
These types of plan can also aid firms that are looking to gain finance and investment via traditional or alternative means.
Plans can also help companies to recover from a negative situation should they get into difficulty, by highlighting issues and offering insight into potential solutions.
Having an explicit strategy in place for how to deal with situations is also beneficial should a firm find itself facing financial trouble.
Seeking an insolvency practitioner in such instances is recommended to ensure that any potentially harmful issues are dealt with in an appropriate manner.
Small businesses need to have confidence if they are to be successful and plans can ensure the necessary tools are in place to drive growth.
A wide range of factors can help to achieve revenue growth, with new products and new markets two of the key areas that are targeted.
Improving already successful products and hiring new staff were also deemed to have a big impact on the potential returns for a firm.
However, having clear targets that show ambitions are the real drivers behind achieving success, as firms can measure how far they have come from where they once were.
By Phil Smith