The Purpose of a Business Plan
From John Dymond, Rural Financial Counsellor
We’ve probably all heard that when in business, we should have a business plan. A business plan, which generally incorporates information about the purpose of the business, it’s strategic direction, and how it’s going to get there, is a useful tool to assist business owners in staying focused on the main game.
Without a business plan it is all too easy to get caught up in the regular problems that beset any business, and lose sight of what you are trying to achieve in the first place.
It is a great tool to have a clear articulation of a business’s goals and objectives, the strengths and weaknesses within the current business structure and industry, and an honest assessment of that business’s opportunities and threats. When problems arise within the business, they can then be measured against the business’s goals and objectives – that is, is this particular problem ancillary to or connected with the main game of the business. Is it a threat? Or an opportunity? If it is not part of our core goals and it is taking management time and income to resolve, can we simply exit this type of activity.
Values and vision are important components as an articulation of these in the context of the farming operation means that the business can proceed with all parties understanding the ‘soft’ criteria of the business as well as the hard numbers. These are the things that help us sleep comfortably at night.
For farming families it is critically important to ensure that the farm business plan considers personal goals as well as business goals. This helps to reduce later conflicts which can, if left, be ultimately destructive.
A Business Plan should be a dynamic tool, able to be flexible and adaptive to changes to visions, goals, objectives, strategies, opportunities, threats or any other inputs.
At times of difficulty and if your business is not going to ‘plan’ it is all too easy to throw away the plan! A Rural Financial Counsellor can help you make your business plan a dynamic tool useful in a changing environment. Rural Financial Counsellors can be accessed across the state on 1800 612 004. The service is free, effective , responsive, flexible and confidential.
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