Poor planning could result in Britain’s small businesses losing out on £25 billion this year*. And with most small and medium sized enterprises failing before their fifth year, this is money they sorely need.
Clearly, planning matters. 70% of businesses reckon they’ll grow as a direct result of developing and implementing a current business plan*.
And one of the best ways to plan for success is to understand what type of planner you are. So which one sounds like you?
The post-it planner
Post-it planners are great at making spontaneous gut decisions. They don’t like to mull things over for too long, and hate poring over spreadsheets – they’d rather scribble their thoughts down on scraps of paper.
If you’re a post-it planner
Set up a structure from the very beginning. Take the time to create some key templates that you can turn to in the future – they’ll help you to stay on top of things, which will pay dividends in the long run.
Mini-planners are modern – they don’t use paper for anything. They type everything in bite-size chunks on the go. They’re focused on constantly updating and improving their business plan, and want to use every precious moment of their busy days for developing new ideas.
If you’re a mini-planner
Although micro task management is great for staying on top of things, don’t forget to make time to understand how your business is performing at a wider level. Try delegating tasks to colleagues to free up your time – chances are, they’re looking for the opportunity to step up and impress you.
The detail addict
Detail addicts are – unsurprisingly – addicted to details. Nothing, no matter how small, can be overlooked. Every possibility must be thought about, every contingency planned for. They can be cautious to a fault, weighing every decision against every possible outcome.
If you’re a detail addict
When it comes to planning ahead, knowing your business inside out is a great place to start. But try to avoid using research to procrastinate – adding more data into the mix can be overwhelming and unhelpful.
The presentation planner
Presentation planners only feel truly secure once they’ve shown a formal presentation of their business plan to as many experts and financial backers as they can. After this, they update their formal presentation once a month, keeping everyone up to date.
If you’re a presentation planner
So you’re great at planning and regular formal reviews. But if you’re taking a long time to add the polish, try a more agile approach by sharing your work earlier. Bringing people in earlier in the process can help them understand your thinking (and make them more receptive to your final decision).
However you plan best, here’s some expert advice:
Need help on how to create a marketing plan? We’ve got you covered.
*Source: npower/OnePoll Business Planning Research survey September 2015