Sunday 13 January 2019

2019 – If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail

With the festive rush behind us, we can now take a deep breath and dive into 2019. January is a great time to do some business planning! The age old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is a good reminder of just how important it really is.
When you think of the year ahead, are you filled with dread of the continued rat race, or with optimisms about all the exciting opportunities the year will bring?
Planning most definitely will help overcome any dread and fill even the most cynical business owner with optimism. Trust us on this one.

What do you want to achieve this year? Is your business where you want it to be? Are your staff aware of the goals and where the business is heading? What are all the critical actions on your “Should do” list, that you just haven’t got around to, and its holding you back?

We asked our SBMS Business Mentors to share their business-planning pearls of their wisdom with the trader community.

Tony DeStefano suggests to think of a business plan as a flight plan.
"If you are flying to Brisbane tomorrow, you'd like to think the pilot has a flight plan.
Like a flight plan that needs to be flexible to take care of any eventualities such as bad weather or a storm, the business plan also needs to be flexible to take care of unexpected situations that seem to happen from time to time in all businesses large or small.”

If flying is not your thing, perhaps sailing might be…Leon Deutsch says:
“A business without a plan is like a ship without a rudder. How do you know where you are heading if you don’t decide on the destination first and ensure you have the right rudder to get you there? Be definite and realistic, choose a goal or set of goals that is achievable and you would be happy with, then plan what you need to do or obtain to achieve that. Then decide how you will measure your progress on a regular basis and try to create contingency plans to flatten those little bumps that occur on the way.”

Alan Hay believes that:
“All business is basically the same, from traders to corporations.  They are all made the same way Customers, Product and Price. It's just that corporates have more of everything than traders. And never forget that these are the only three things that you (the boss) can play with, if one is wrong adjust the others. It's that simple and that difficult
And of course along the way, Sell the Dream, Deliver the Goods, Grab the Cash and HAVE FUN.”See Alan’s Business Triangle model below.

Keith Hinson suggests every business needs a sound Business Plan that helps to navigate the ups and downs of business ownership. Once created, the plan should be used as the guide to keep the business on track with clearly defined goals, timelines and contingency plans.

“It is important though, to realise that the Business Plan is a dynamic document – as the business changes, so the plan must change accordingly.

The primary focus as always, needs to be;
  • execution of the overall strategy;
  • attainment of critical goals and;
  • recognizing of key milestones;
…. to keep the business moving forward” says Keith.

John Bostock suggests that traders work out their Daily Cost Of Doing Business. It is a very simple exercise and makes the business include a wage as well as the other fixed costs involved. Many traders just live on what they get in each day without provision to pay running costs from cash takings. Knowing your numbers means you can plan ahead for the year regarding costs and then pricing.

Madalen Ross says that:
 The main purpose of a business plan is to ensure all ideas and potential challenges are thought through.  The Business Plan does not need to be extensive writing.   It gives your business a direction, defines your objectives, maps out strategies to achieve your goals and helps you manage possible bumps in the road.”

Here are some useful templates to help with your 2019 planning

Most helpful of all is booking a session with one of the SBMS’ experienced business mentors for a confidential one-on-one consultation to help you plan for success.
Business Mentors are available at the Trader Lounge (266 Victoria Street), every Tue, Thur, and Fri 10am-2pm pop in anytime for a chat, or make an appointment.

To view mentor profiles and book go to
Click on the ‘I want to book with a voucher’ button. Use voucher code QVM. View the mentors and click on Book with Me to finalise your mentor booking.
Or email Program Manager – Katya Ellis or call 1300 631 171