Planning for your business is like planning for a holiday

“Planning for your business is like planning for a holiday” said Paul Schnelle of Potts & Schnelle, Chartered Accountants. “The best time to consider your next holiday is just after you’ve finished one. Reflections like, will we do that again? What went well? What didn’t? What will we do next year? These questions are often easiest answered just after returning.

“This theory also applies for your business! Just after finishing the financial year it is often easy to ask questions about how your business went last year and think about what you might do differently next year.”

“Planning for a business is just like planning for a holiday. You can get really detailed, or just wing it and hope! Obviously each method gives different results. For instance, some people strap on a backpack and head off with only a general idea of where they want to go. Others won’t leave home without a detailed itinerary of planned activities and accommodation. Both methods work, and it’s horses for courses!”

Similarly, some people have a business idea, get an ABN and off they go hoping for the best! Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Like a backpacker, it all depends on the direction they end up taking, what help they get along the way, what resources they have behind them and how they are used.”

“Others meticulously plan out every step of their business idea before they start and then go about implementing rigorously. This is like a holiday on a planned tour. Again, this works for them too!”

“At the end of the day, a business owner has to do what works for them,” adds David Potts, partner. “We recommend that every business does some sort of planning, at least for the next few months, preferably a year and hopefully a rough out of the next 5 years.”

“Like a holiday, the more planning you do the more chance you will get the result you want. That’s not to say that there won’t be detours along the way, or even a total change of direction. Most successful backpackers have a general idea of where they plan to go, even if it isn’t regimentally organised.”

“However, like running a bus tour, to run a larger successful business you need to have more detailed plans and communicate them to your staff. That way, everyone ends up on the same page heading in the same direction and hopefully at the same final destination.”

“A lot of people find it really difficult to do a budget. Often that is because they are trying too hard to get it exactly right” adds Kristy Davies, Rutherglen Office Manager, “When you plan a holiday, you first plan your destinations and then you plan the smaller details, eventually deciding on your day to day activities as the last step. The same philosophy applies to business planning. You decide on the big picture first and then you drill down to finer detail gradually as and if required. It is almost impossible to plan out every step along the way because things change as you go. So don’t get caught up in the fine detail at the start.”

“So, why are we talking about this?” finishes Paul. “Well, we see that our most successful clients do some sort of planning for their businesses and their personal lives! We think that planning, even on a broad scale, improves one’s quality of life and a business’ financial prospects.”

 A new financial year gives you a clean sheet of paper to plan out the next 12 months. Have a look at how you went last year. Think about what you did well and what you would like to change. Then think about the big picture of where you want to be in 5-10 years time and how the next 12 months will contribute to that long term picture. This will open up some thoughts on what you could do towards that goal right now. Most importantly, set a time frame to do something! We all have good ideas. Successful people are generally those that get around to actually implementing some of those ideas!

“David and I have a lot of helpful resources. Give us a call if you want some help.”

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