Are you always striving to improve your business performance? Amidst the meetings, phone calls, emails and office emergencies, many business owners find it difficult to create a business plan. At Finnies, we work with our clients on a regular basis to provide objective assistance with writing a business plan, as they can help boost your business and reduce the time you spend problem solving later down the line. With that in mind, here are five key reasons why business planning is an important investment of your time! You establish your mission statement This is crucial, as your mission statement clearly explains the reasons your business exists. By defining this, you are able to reflect on problems and decisions you may encounter and use your mission statement to inform you with the answer to said problems. This will in turn streamline your business processes, allowing you to focus more on your business goals. Establishing your mission statement also allows you to plan ahead for your business, and create a target for where you want it to be in the future. Doing this gives you a target to aim for, which perhaps could be a set number of clients or an overall profit margin for the year. You can identify your strengths and weaknesses Following your mission statement, you can then analyse your SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). This allows you to take an objective, crucial and unemotional look at your business in its entirety. A SWOT analysis of your business then allows you to create targets to build on your strengths and address any weaknesses or threats you may have. By doing this you are creating strategic objectives for your company which, when addressed, can help your business grow and profit! You can identify your budget All businesses need money to succeed. By planning ahead and creating a smart budget, you are able to create financially beneficial decisions which can help avoid financial pit-falls. It is worth taking many factors into account when setting your budget, and a regular review of your expenses will allow you to effectively monitor this. You establish your target market An effective business plan allows you to address your target audience. This includes deciding on the best geographic areas and sectors to target, as well as planning how you can take care of your existing customers. This allows you to generate the highest rate of return on your efforts, and help advertise your products or services to a wider reach, which will ultimately net you new customers. You focus on what your company needs Ultimately, an effective plan allows you to strategically focus on your business. In other words, you abandon the fire-fighting mode and emphasise what is important and also what is urgent. By doing this, you can set goals that can look ahead and help keep you and your team focused on achieving your ultimate goal – growing your business! At Finnies we can provide businesses with advice and support on a wide range of business issues. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our experts for more information!