Start-up business planning
When you start a business, it can feel like there’s just so much to do. Maybe because there is! You’ve got to sort out…
- Your business name, logo and website
- How you’re going to promote yourself
- What kind of clients you want to work with
- Which software to use with clients
- How to get paid on time
- What to do when you get a difficult client
At this stage of your business, it’s about getting set up and getting some money in the door to pay for all your set up costs!
Established business planning
But for many of us, even after years of running our business we can still feel overwhelmed by problems. The feelings are the same but the problems are different;
- Finding the time to recruit
- Finding good staff
- Stepping back and letting go
- Streamlining internal systems and processes
- Refining client base
- Adding consulting services to your revenue
- Improving profitability
At this stage of your business, it’s about working smarter, not harder. It’s about discovering “true north” in your business; finding the right direction when you feel you may have drifted off course.
That’s why it’s essential you do things in the right order, or you risk wasting time, effort and money. That’s why it’s almost always best-practice to start with your business plan.
But in my experience, it doesn’t usually happen that way. Fortunately, you can still get plenty of benefits from starting your business plan at different stages of your business. I thought I’d give you a few examples of bookkeepers (with names changed) we’ve worked with in the past, hen they started their business plan, and the benefits it had for their business. Hopefully, it will inspire you to work on your plan – no matter what stage you’re at.
Experience/situation: Sam is new to the bookkeeping business game.
Problem: “I’ve got my business name, logo, business cards, BAS registration, software, and scanner. But I have no clients and don’t know how to get them.”
How a business plan helped: A business plan helped Sam plan ahead so that he didn’t waste precious time and money marketing to clients who weren’t a good fit for his skill set, personality, or business goals.
Experience/situation: Fiona has been in the game for a while. She’s a great bookkeeper and just seems to attract new clients like a magnet.
Problem: “I’m overloaded with work, and desperately need to hire. But I’m too busy to go through the hiring process.”
How a business plan helped: A business plan helped Fiona work out some areas of her business that were consuming too much of her time, and help her to create a strategy for recruiting and freeing up her own time.
Experience/situation: Michelle is feeling dissatisfied. She’s been bookkeeping for a long time and has lost her mojo.
Problem: “I’ve been operating for a while, I’m earning well. But something is missing and I can’t put my finger on it. I’d love to most past whatever that is.”
How a business plan helped: The process of developing the business plan helped her unlock some areas where she was operating at less than her potential and refreshed her vision and passion for her work.
Experience/situation: Wesley is in his late 50s and plans to keep working until after normal retirement age to keep his mind active and stay connected with the business community. But his health hasn’t been the greatest.
Problem: “I’m not ready to stop my business but in the future, I’d like to be able to sell it. Or if something happens to me, I’d like to have a plan that someone else can understand and follow.”
How a business plan helped: A business plan helped Wesley communicate the purpose and value of his business to someone else, in case he needed to quickly hand it over. It also helped him to value the business for when it comes time to sell.
Experience/situation: Fran is over it! Her clients are a pain in the butt, not paying her on time, and questioning her bills. She is scared to sack them because she feels worried about doing more marketing.
Problem: “I’ve been trying to work more ON my business instead of IN it, and I don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere! I’m making money, but where is it all? I’m over it! I wonder if I should just go back to being an employee.”
How a business plan helped: A business plan helped Fran carve out a niche so she can weed out clients who aren’t a good fit and only attract the right ones in the future. The planning process will also reconnect her with what is important.
So what’s the next step? Would you love to free up your brain-cells, prepare for the future and spot gaps in your business? Join me online for my free Business Planning training.
Learn more about the savvy Bookkeeping Business Plan
Join me for the Business Planning Basics webinar. It’s FREE!
During this 35 minute webinar presentation, you will learn;
- why it’s important to have a written business plan
- what’s involved in business planning
- which is the best stage of business to start a business plan
- why more people don’t have business plans
- how to get started with your business plan
- and earn a CPE point (happy dance!)
Find out if a business plan is right for you – book in for the webinar, or watch an instant replay now.
NOW Over to you…
Which stage are you at? Which one of those bookkeepers did you most relate to? And if you’ve already got your business plan sorted, what stage where you at and how did it help? I’d love to know. Let’s continue the conversation in the comments section below.
And if you feel that now is the time to start on your business plan, I have a Business Plan Template designed specifically for bookkeepers that you can download (for free). If you need some help with your plan, just send me a message – I’ll be happy to help!
PS: I can’t wait to see you on the webinar >>