Most businesses which succeed do so because of careful planning.
Most businesses which fail do so because of lack of planning.

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Most businesses which succeed do so because of careful planning. Most businesses which fail do so because of lack of planning.

We're not talking so much about the lip-service business plans which most banks and lending institutes require (although they do force new business owners to take a more realistic appraisal of their dreams). And we're not talking about figure-oriented budgets and cash flow forecasts, necessary though they are to the sound financial management of a business.

No, we're talking about the processes which turn short-term dreams into long-term realities.. the processes which enable the proverbial 'acorn' businesses grow into substantial and sound 'oak trees'.

Write this out large and pin it to your wall:

"If you don't know where you are going,
then any road will do"

Great theories. But what about real life? The truth is that most of us in business spend so much time earning the daily bread and/or 'fire-fighting' that planning seems to be an unnecessary luxury. It's what we will do tomorrow. Today is when we earn the money to pay this month's bills and to give ourselves and our employees a wage. Absolutely necessary. But what's going to happen three, six or twelve months from now?

Probably that we'll have to spend even more time trying to earn the daily crust... whilst some of our better-planned competitors are overtaking us. What's more, even if we were able to spend, say, a day a month planning the growth of our business, are we really in a position to look objectively about the prospects for future growth and which way to turn? Possibly not. Like most folks, we're probably too close to the proverbial trees to see the larger wood.

So what's the solution? Yes, and here comes the plug for consultancy!

Your business, large or small, would probably benefit from someone outside the business helping to steer you in the right direction - helping you to set goals and to identify the best ways to achieve them. This person need not necessarily be a paid consultant. It could be a friend or a relative with the skills, the time and the interest in your business to work with you in an objective but sympathetic way.

Or it could be a professional consultant who could achieve the same results, but for a fee.

Either way, you are almost certainly going to benefit from the advice of someone who can see the wood apart from the trees - and who can help you to grow your 'acorn' business into a profitable and sound 'oak tree'

We'll be giving you some more ideas on business planning in the coming months. There's a check list on "What's in a Business Plan" on the Services page. There's some sound advice on how to choose a consultant in our Archives. And our BusinessFriend® Mentoring Service can often provide that skilled and independent advice to help you to plan for a more prosperous future.

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