How to Achieve Your Business Plan Goals
Entrepreneurs are so often working so hard IN their business, they don’t have any time to work ON their business. Is that you? Read our tips on how to work your smart business plan in 2019 so that you do achieve your goals.
First, Review Your Profit And Loss Statements
Over the holidays look over your business results for 2018. Because where you finish off your year is a great place to start your 2019 planning.
These Are The Things To Look For In Your Profit And Loss Statement
- a) Gross Profit Line: Are you happy with this number? Do you know what the average gross profit is for your industry? You can always Google “What is the gross profit in the xxxxxxx industry”. For example in the restaurant, this should be around 70%. If you are running a restaurant and the GP (gross profit) is only 40% then it’s time to tear apart your pricing formula and the costs per portion to make adjustments to bring your GP back up to 70%.
- b) Net Profit Line: This is the total business profit/loss net after all expenses. Net profit is the amount left over from the gross profit after deducting the overheads (indirect wages, rent, utilities, marketing, sales, marketing, office auto and any finance charges (interest on loans, equipment leasing costs).
Looking at your expenses in detail is well worth the time. It’s surprising how many items sneak into the expense lines that can be trimmed. To find the details of all your expenses during the month look in your General Ledger by expense category (ie office supplies) to see if the expenses look reasonable.
It’s also a great idea to look at your profit and loss statements in a 12-month view to see if each month is similar. Any red flags (big increases) should be looked at. A 12-month view also shows any seasonality in your business, both from a sales and expense point of view.
Develop Your 2019 Business Plan Based On Your Financial Statement Review
Once you have a handle on the financial aspects of your business then you are in a good position to put a realistic business plan together for 2019.
What does this mean?
Specific Measurable AchievableRealisticTime Based
For example if you want to increase your sales then set a percentage amount.
It’s easy to measure the percentage goal as the year goes along if you review your financial results each month.
Set the percentage amount to be achievable. This means an assessment of all the resources at your disposal to reach your goal. Are they in place? This could mean staffing levels, money set aside for the additional sales push etc.
Given the business climate you are working in, are your goals realistic? If the economy is going into a tail spin and you are in the luxury market, for example, trying to achieve a projected 40% growth may not be achievable.
Setting the time of your plan is important because it makes you review your results during the time limit you place on your plan.
If you are interested in setting smart goals, read our blog for more ideas.
Let’s Add-In Accountability
You know how it is if you aren’t accountable to anyone it is easy to slip up and let everything slide as the year progresses. How to stop yourself falling into this trap? Find an accountability partner. This could be a peer advisory group, a trusted mentor or a business coach. Set up a monthly review. Monthly reviews are helpful to keep you on track. What went well and what didn’t go so well. If you are accountable monthly you have plenty of time to adjust your plan. If you are trying something new in your plan, give it 90 days minimum to measure success before you make big adjustments.
You need a personal trainer for your business so that it stays healthy much the same as a personal trainer can keep your body in tip-top shape.
Now, thanks to new innovations in technology, your financial fitness coach is just a click away. The #1 accounting software company, Intuit has developed its ‘QuickBooks Assistant’, for example. This is an interactive chatbot that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to help their small businesses and self-employed clients manage their finances. Conversational interaction by voice or keyed commands allows users to make up to 50 queries about their accounts such as revenues generated, taxes owed, and which sales are most profitable. Machine learning helps determine the nature of questions being asked and provides appropriate responses in real-time. Since its limited release in 2016, over 1.5 million queries have already been answered via iOS, Android and Internet.
Why not try putting together a realistic, smart business plan for 2019 and use modern tools to help you execute it?
Elaine Slatter is a Small Business Expert, founder of XL Consulting Group and author of the popular book, “Fabulous Fempreneurship”, a complete business guide for women. XL Consulting Group helps entrepreneurs with market planning, strategy, branding, web design and social media. She has over 30 years of executive business and marketing experience and is ready to help you rocket your business to success. Elaine is passionate about mentoring women to become successful women entrepreneurs. To find out more, visit XL Consulting Group or join the Fabulous Fempreneurship mastermind.