Question 4: Is your business working to your business plan

Of course the question presupposes you have a business plan. if you think you don’t need a business plan, how do you envisage that you will be able to control your business?

I used to fly for a hobby – we started off with microlights and moved onto light aircraft. Even in the microlight, which was about as simple as you could get so as to keep within the weight limit we still had some key instruments giving us critical information, such as the speedometer, the altimeter and the fuel gauge. We always drew a line on a map so we could see where we going to, especially as we were blown off course and needed to know where we were to avoid obstacles and controlled airspace. Similarly, in business, your business plan is the line on your map. You can see where you are going and where you are being blown off course, so that you can take correcting action to get back on course.

Like the speedometer and the altimeter your business plan should show you how fast you will get to your destination and how high. If you measure against your business plan you can see whether you are gig as fast or as high s you forecast. You also need information about cash flow – your cash flow forecast is like your fuel gauge: do you have enough cash to get you to your destination or will you need to refuel ( apply for extra funding)?

The business plan should really be for the owners of the business: to make sure that you have thought through all the various aspects and whether you have the skills to be in business; to determine whether the business plan is workable and whether you have a feasible business. It is also crucial for the cash flow forecast to have something to measure against and control your business against as you go along and if necessary take avoiding action ( reducing your salary – called “drawings”, increasing your sales effort or reducing costs). A free template of a cash flow forecast in excel can be downloaded from my website

This week you could revisit your business plan and ask yourself:
Are you on track? If not what corrections do you need to make? Do you need to revise your business plan?

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