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Stefan Kazakis on 18 June 2015

How Strong is Your Business Plan?

As a business mentor, I work with many Melbourne small businesses to help them achieve their goals. A common problem I find is that small businesses find it hard to stick to a business plan. The plan becomes a formality, rather than a real plan. 

Below is some business advice I give to Melbourne small businesses about achieving a great plan. 

Do you need a business mentor to get your goals back on track? Business Benchmark Group is Melbourne's premier business mentor and coach for small and medium business.

Check out our flagship business coaching program, Board of Director 12. Start your journey to business success.

1. Mindset is not aligned with the plan

Are you more focused on wants than needs? If you have created a business plan as an exercise rather than a deep, well-thought out statement which will lead you to your ‘Why’.

"Why are am I doing this?... Who for and for what outcome?"

If this is you, then you will find your planning under-done as a quick fix rather than sustained activity to achieve long term.

2. Lack of clarity about what’s important vs what's urgent

Ask yourself: "What am I not doing right now? What key actions am I taking right now to move closer to my stated business outcomes? Are the actions I am taking ‘important’ or ‘urgent’? " 

Once you have a meaningful plan and long term goals to work towards, the actions that will get you there become important and it's easier to prioritise your time for the important tasks, not just the urgent ones. However, without a business mentor it is easy to slip back into old habits and spend a greater percentage of time on tasks that keep us busy, but not efficient.

3. Inability to communicate the key business questions

Can you communicate the basics? The Who, What, Where, Why, When and How? 

What do you sell, who do you sell it to and how do you deliver your products or services?  Have you answered these questions properly?  Do your staff know the answers to these questions?  Are they articulated clearly in your business plan?

These fundamental questions must be clear in your mind and in the mind of your business.  Many business owners can get into a business that they know nothing about or, their expertise is only in the creation or delivery of products and services. You need to know your business – how your business will make money.

4. No accountability partner

Do you have someone on our side guiding, mentoring and watching you swing? We believe that what got us here today will get us there (the ultimate goal) and that’s generally far from the truth.

It's easy to fall in the habit of doing things that are easy, rather than tackling the difficult challenges facing our business. Having a business mentor that you’re accountable to is a critical success element. A good business mentor or business coach will make sure that you are not slacking off, or getting bogged down in the unimportant tasks.

Find out more about business mentors.

5. Creating a realistic vision for the future

Creating a Vision for what you are working towards is critical.  As people, we will tend to overestimate what we can achieve in the short term and underestimate what we can achieve in the long term… it’s critical that we set our sights at the right level.  Check you are goal setting at the right level.  If you have never achieved any of them, your sights are set too high;  if you always achieve all of them, they are set too low.

Do you need a business mentor to help you stick to the plan?

A Small Business Mentor would provide advice to help you move forward, and tick off those daily priorities.

At Business Benchmark Group, we specialise in advising, coaching and mentoring Melbourne small business. Our specialist coaching programs will accelerate your grow using our tried and tested business advice.

Let's chat about your Melbourne business. Contact us today.

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