January planning – Re:fresh

RefreshYou’ve done your research and consulted with staff and others and should now have outlined your business goals for the coming year. Now it is time to refresh your business plan.

The big question in this phase is how to achieve your goals.

If your goals are ambitious, achieving them will require additional resources.

New products or services require investment of time and most likely money in R&D, in testing and refining, in design and packaging, in recruiting and training production staff, in plant and machinery, in stock, in marketing literature, in promotion and many more aspects that are key to the success of a new product.

New clients or markets require investment in time and most likely money in market research, in market testing, in advertising and promotion, in sales and marketing, in recruiting and training sales staff, in finding distributors, in learning about foreign markets and many more aspects that are key to establishing new markets.

Once you have a plan, then the plan needs to be resourced. Indeed the availability of resources and finance normally influence the plan. It may be possible to find it with reserves or borrowings but other options should be considered such as partnering with manufacturers, suppliers, distributors or clients who may be prepared to use their own resources for a slice of the benefits. Manufacturers may fund tooling and production and suppliers may fund stock and distribution or both might provide extended credit in return for higher margins. Distributors and clients may pay deposits or prepayments to fund production.

Whatever your plan, an accurate picture of the financial health of the business and projected cash flow will be needed as part of the planning process. Indeed it is often necessary to use the planning process to reorganise aspects of your existing business and restructure its balance sheet.

Having a plan is also necessary to monitor progress throughout the year and provide valuable insights for future goal setting and planning.

Having a refresh stage in the annual planning process will ensure your business remains competitive, even if you do not want to grow. Re:fresh can be used to reinforce a culture of continuous business improvement

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