January, 2015

Business Plan Perth Planning for Sales

Business Plan Perth.  Protect Business Reputation by Planning for Sales

Writing a business plan Perth Planning for Sales is essential for business development.  But even with a solid plan there is some aspect of unpredictability. There are a multitude of variables that have to be taken into account, any of which could have great impact on the prosperity of a small business.

Sales forecasting may well be the most difficult and complicated of all areas covered in a strategic business plan.  To predict sales, a business has to consider numerous economic, demographic and social variables.  Because sales have a major impact on income stream, a business plan should include a continuity strategy for dealing with poor sales performance.  But what happens if a business does better than expected?

Can Customer Service Handle Additional Requests?

A lot of small businesses fail to appreciate the impact sales have on customer service resources.  Even quality products and services have mishaps, and when this happens customer service will be expected to resolve any issues.  The more sales a business makes, the greater the number of product-related issues it will receive.  No business will ever complain about booming sales but it should be prepared for increased customer service issues.  If a business finds itself unprepared, the following problems may result:

  1. Customer service overload:  The sheer volume of customer contact is too much for current resources to handle and calls and emails from customers go unanswered.
  2. Reduction in service quality:  In a rush to answer all customer issues, staff don’t take the time to fully deal with a problem or assure the customers the issue will be resolved.  This leads to customer dissatisfaction and can have a negative impact on future sales.
  3. Delayed resolutions:  Greater pressure on customer service resources affects the time taken to resolve consumer issues.  Delayed resolutions will lead to increased refund requests and decreased business reputation.
  4. Reduced production and sales:  A business uses all available staff resources to deal with customer queries in order to maintain a quality level of service, but this results in a slowdown of production and sales.

Customers Don’t Get What They Order

There are other key business processes affected by increased demand:

  1. Production/stock
  2. Packaging/delivery

Let’s look at the problem associated with each process one at a time.

Production/stock

Goods made to order:  Increased demand instantly places pressure on production.  Employees will have to work overtime or the business may have to employ additional staff to complete orders on time.  Product stock levels:  Increased orders will eat away at stock levels.  A business with pre-existing stock is initially in a better position to cope with increased demand.  However, if demand remains high there will be increased pressure on production to fulfil orders and replenish stock levels.  In either situation, a business has to have a plan in place to deal with a sudden rise in sales as well as a decline.  If a business is unable to increase production to cope with demand, there will be a delay in order processing.  This is damaging to both reputation and profitability.

Packaging/delivery

More sales means more packaging material is required and a there will be a larger volume of orders to deliver.  If a business handles packaging and delivery in-house, then the onus falls on the business to have adequate packaging materials and logistics to cope with a sudden spike in demand.  For the businesses that package goods in-house and use a postal service or courier to ship, the responsibility for delivery can still fall on the business.  Customers don’t care about high demand excuses and expect a business to have sourced a delivery solution that can process and deliver orders on time, regardless of order volume.

Prosperity Favours the Prepared

Businesses often make plans for less than perfect situations.  Disaster recovery and continuation processes are a pessimistic, but necessary, business fail safe.  A start up business always hopes its sales will achieve best case forecasts, but is unlikely to forecast a sales boom.  The outcome of this is that not many small businesses factor adverse effects of high sales into short-term strategy.  There is nothing foolhardy or unrealistic about planning potential solutions for increased demand.  It’s better to have a plan and never need it, than to have no plan and fail to meet demand.  Making a plan will only cost some forethought and time.  Failing to meet demand will wreak havoc on business reputation and prosperity.

Alternatively, to download our free guide Preparing a Business Plan, enter your details below and we will email the guide to you.

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Importance of Business Planning Perth

Discover the Importance of Business Planning Perth.  How can it affect your business success?

The Importance of Business Planning Perth is essential as the business world can move so quickly that it’s easy to miss out on great opportunities, deviate from where you want to go and prevent you from achieving your goals.  This is why having a documented business plan is so important for all businesses, no matter their size or stage.

Having a clear business plan keeps you focused on the goals that are crucial for success and provides guidelines for day-to-day operations and decisions.  A good business plan gives you goals to strive for during the next week, month, year and beyond.  It will allow you to plan in advance for additional expenditure, manage slow periods in business and estimate the staffing requirements needed to achieve your goals.

There is no logical reason to wait for external motivation, like your bank manager asking to see your business plan, before you write one.  Committing your plans to writing helps to sharpen your focus and identify your priorities and can be used as a benchmark to measure your progress towards achieving your goals.

Business plans are an essential management tool that tell you what you plan to achieve, plus how and when you plan to achieve it.  That is why the Importance of Business Planning Perth is so valuable.  Set time aside to assess actual progress against your business plan to keep your business on track.  Update your plan as economic, market and individual circumstances change.

The primary purpose of your business plan is to map out a strategy and action plan for your business, but it also serves a useful secondary purpose as a reference document for external parties with an interest in your business.

Setting your goals

Your business will not operate as efficiently and effectively as it could without specific and defined goals.  Your business plan is likely to outline goals for some, or all, of the following.

  • Financial objectives – for example, to increase turnover or reduce operating costs by 5% this year.
  • Strategic objectives – for example, to increase the number of corporate clients by 20% within two years.
  • Operational objectives – for example, to increase output by 10% within six months.
  • Marketing objectives – for example, to increase total sales to existing customers by 10% next year.
  • Social/Environmental objectives – for example, to decrease your carbon footprint by 5% each year for three years.

Holding a staff brainstorming session is a good way to benefit from their expert knowledge and gain their input and support for your business plan and objectives.  Depending on the size of your business, you might hold only one brainstorming session or several to cover the objectives for various business units.

Keep your goals realistic and pertinent to current general economic conditions and to your specific industry conditions.  For example, in a period of global economic downturn, it is more effective to look at ways to decrease costs than to increase sales.

Identify your strategy

Your business plan will also include your business strategy and will outline the steps you plan to follow to achieve the goals and objectives you have identified.  This, in turn, will direct the day-to-day operations of your business.  Each of your business goals will need a plan of action that must be followed to achieve the objectives.

As a rule of thumb, your strategy will outline the most practical and cost-effective way to achieve each objective.  It will detail any extra equipment or personnel that might be required to achieve this.

For example, you might need an extra staff member and an additional computer to increase output by 10% within the next six months, or you might consider enrolling your sales staff in a course to achieve the objective of increasing sales to existing customers next year.

Forecast the financial implications

The financial implications of your goals and strategies will be reflected in the financial forecasts in your business plan.  Your goals will identify the areas for improvement, like an increase in sales or a reduction in costs, and your strategy will identify any additional expenditure needed to achieve these goals.

Most business plans will include a 12 month cash flow forecast, a profit and loss forecast, and a two or three year projection.

Your cash flow forecasts will identify whether you have sufficient financial resources to implement your plans immediately, or whether you will need to explore other financing options.  Monitoring your actual spend against your projections is a way of ensuring that new project costs do not escalate much beyond planned expenditure.

Review your business plan

Your business plan is a living document that grows and changes over the lifespan of your business.  Its objective is to identify your key goals and how to achieve them, while taking market and technological trends into account.

The effectiveness of your business plan as a management tool depends on you referring back to it as a reminder of your plans and objectives, and updating your plans to keep them relevant.

Reviewing your progress against your business plan, on an annual basis, is a good way to measure actual performance, and will form the basis for revising and updating your plans.

If you need help with your business planning call us today on 9204 3733 or Contact Us - we will be happy to help.  We can also offer our Management Consulting service which our clients find very valuable for Business Planning in Perth.

www.business.gov.au have some great tools available for download that can guide you in writing your business plan, though expert help is always advised.

Alternatively, to download our free guide Preparing a Business Plan, enter your details below and we will email the guide to you.

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Business Planning Perth

Business Planning Perth. Planning for the year ahead

BSN & Co can help with your Business Planning Perth.  Planning should always be the first step in developing a business.  The turn of the year usually prompts most people to think about some business planning in Perth for the year ahead.  Here are some tips to make the planning more productive.

Get your team involved

The Business Planning process works best when it’s a team effort.  Involve your key staff and your advisors such as your accountant and/or your mentor (if you have one).  Also include others who can contribute meaningfully to the planning process, such as an IT expert if you envisage a major website overhaul.

Ask people to bring their ideas to the planning meeting and try to hold the meeting away from the business to avoid getting caught up in daily activities.

Review your business

Start with a review of your business as it currently stands, focusing on three key questions:

  1. What’s working well for us at the moment that we should continue doing?
  2. What’s not − what should we drop or do less of?
  3. What has the most business potential for the future?

And make sure you use this information to enhance your business planning.

Decide on changes

When conducting your business planning Perth the planning process may identify areas that require change.  For example, you may need to adapt your existing products and services, seek new markets or distribution channels, or change your business model entirely.

These changes are more likely to occur if there is consensus from your key staff and the changes are documented in your business plan.

Figure out capacity

Many changes will require some investment in new skills, new products or services, or other changes in capacity.  You will need to incorporate how you will address this within your business plan.

Get help from your accountant with business planning Perth to complete a return on investment (ROI) analysis if you need new equipment or even new staff.  You need to know how much extra business needs to be generated for a reasonable payback and also how the business can access the funds for the growth.  For example, will you need a larger credit line or new capital?  This will all help you decide if your changes are feasible and help you in the planning and implementation process, as well as managing and planning your cashflow.

Get everyone on board

Once you’ve established where you want to take the business business planning Perth, concentrate on the next 12 months.  Set some end of year goals, and then work backwards to create the stepping stones that will take you there.   It is essential that you plan your journey if you are going to achieve your objectives.

Your role now is to get everyone on board by clearly communicating the plan to them.  Consensual goals are more motivating than imposed goals, so get at least your key staff involved in the goal setting.  Immediate goals are easier to focus on than longer term goals, so make sure each person understands what is required from them this week, this month and this quarter.

Follow up

A major challenge with all business planning Perth is that it is often done at the beginning of the year when optimism and motivation are high.  However, these emotions can quickly fade as people get caught up in their daily activities and new projects.

Business goals won’t be taken seriously unless you set regular dates to review progress – i.e. every 90 days.  Once people know that they will be called on to account for their progress at these meetings, they will be more motivated keep your planning on track.  You should also take these opportunities to check the business plan you developed at the start of the year.  Have there been any major changes that will require you to amend your business plan?  Is your plan still relevant?  Don’t be afraid to update your business plan throughout the year; it should be a working document that guides you in your decision making.

www.business.gov.au have some great tools available for download that can guide you in writing your business plan, though expert help is always advised.

If you need help with your business planning Perth call us today on 9204 3733 or Contact Us – we will be happy to help.  We can also offer our Management Consulting service which our clients find very valuable while Business Planning in Perth.

Alternatively, to download our free guide Preparing a Business Plan, enter your details below and we will email the guide to you.

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