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Advice from Outside the Square

Category Archives: Business Planning

Business Planning in the Midst of COVID-19

Here we are at the beginning of July and COVID-19 is still with us in some form or other. For many small businesses, we are still in or starting recovery mode. As I engage with our clients, a large proportion are still working from home, or have rostered their team into the office to keep numbers down. Things are still quiet and it is clear that "normality" is a long way away. This sense of being quiet and watching to see what will happen can lead to a dead-end though! Now, more than ever, "if you do nothing, a very strange thing happens - nothing!" So, despite business being quiet, despite our fears and worries making us psychologically frozen, despite not knowing what's around the corner, we still need to plan ahead. Here's what you need to do. (more…)...
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Time to Write Your Business Plan – And Here’s How!

Did you know that 8 out of 10 small businesses close down within the first 5 years of opening? But do you know what's worse? Of those that survive, less than 25% rate their businesses as "successful". More than 70% of small businesses who have existed for more than 5 years say that they are "struggling" or "surviving". How would you like to spend the rest of your business life struggling or surviving? (more…)...
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How To Write Your Own Business Plan

If you own and run a small business, you must know the feeling where you finish a hard day at work...and wonder how that could possibly have got you closer to your ultimate goal? It is frustrating because all of us started our small businesses with a clear purpose in mind. It may have been to "be our own boss" or to "invent a better mousetrap" or to "provide a balanced lifestyle for my family." But somewhere along the way, we went off track and now, all we do is go to work just to work hard! How can we get back on track on a day to day basis? (more…)...
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The Why And How Of Business Planning

OK, you’ve heard me talk about business plans before. Well, this week I’m going to talk about what the business planning process involves, and how you have to include the “why” of your business, why does it exist? You see, people forget that business plans are written to be read. Yes, that’s a revolutionary thought, isn’t it? People think that business plans are boring internal documents that you write so that you can follow them step by step to grow your business. No. That’s called a to-do checklist. Business plans are written to be read – by you, by your team, by outside investors, by supporters, by people close to you. Yes, they do form the basis of what you have to do in order to grow your business – but more than that, a business plan is a story of what you have to do in order to grow your business to become the business that you want. This takes much more than a list of things that are your goals and a list of actions to achieve those goals. This means that your business plan has to be a reminder, an inspiration, it must attract people, it must make them want to be part...
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