Planning for the year ahead

SMEs often use new year as an opportunity to plan for the year ahead and might benefit from knowing about Rudyard Kipling’s six wise friends: Who, What, Where, Why, When and How.

But while it may be straightforward to answer What (the goals and targets), When (by what deadlines) and Where (what sector and what clients might be most productive) the Who, Why and How are more difficult.

Who: the allocation of tasks is critical for success, including leaving you time to spend on the non-daily activities. Do you have the right people in your organisation, do they have the skills, such as devising and carrying out the marketing strategy that will be needed to meet your goals?

How: are there alternative ways such as outsourcing activities?

Why: this essentially invites you to consider your business model that encompasses all the elements of your business. Is it viable? Do you have sufficient funds or the cash flow to support your plans? Does it generate sufficient profits to justify your effort?

Finally, are you as the owner spending enough time on strategy, finance, marketing planning and leadership as all too often these are neglected when you are busy with the daily operation?

When planning for the future, it is worth considering whether an outside expert might be able to help you, you might be surprised how valuable this can be and it doesn’t need to be expensive in terms of cash and time.

I wish you a very happy new year.

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