Businesses that are fulfilling their goals are having planning sessions on a regular basis, be sure about that. These processes may be lengthy and somewhat boring, but are crucial for business success. And leaders must make sure that these planning sessions are effective, and that the goal setting is in place. Your business goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely (the so-called SMART goal setting). It is, of course, impossible to have a plan for every day to which you have to stick at any cost. Planning is needed for giving a clear direction to your business and having the ability to adjust it along the way. Create and maintain a driving force that will push you beyond your limitations.
Here, we present a list of 5 important signs that point out the fact that your business plans need an overhaul. They may be there for a while, but you might have overlooked them.
Appearance Of New Competitors
New competitor are not necessarily a bad omen. It means that the interest in your business sector is increased, thus motivating you to put more effort and focus on what you do best and to be more efficient. However, you should revise your business plan immediately if the competitors are big, while the business sector is small. Start by analyzing strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats in order to find all areas where you lag in capabilities, or move ahead your competitors’ capabilities. Bolster the former plans and adjust the latter ones to overcome and tame the waves of major changes in the environment your business dwells in.
Sales Heading Down
One of the most obvious signs that something is not getting done right. Act quickly to diagnose the problem if you find your sales not meeting your expectations. View your sales figures like a customer poll, look out for problems with quality control, a disconnect between the benefits your customers seek and the features you offers, or a badly targeted marketing message. Revise your marketing strategy, operations, and product design after you diagnose the problem in order to support your revised forecasts.
Cash Flow Problems
In order to keep your business afloat, an adequate cash flow is essential. If you have cash flow problems, you should turn to fixing structural problems in your supply chain. There are certain temporary solutions for new businesses that actually expect to have cash flow problems because their reserves have not been built yet. Taking out a loan, selling assets and then leasing them, or selling outstanding receivables. The ultimate solution is to get products to your customers faster, deposit checks as soon as possible, request paying in cash or with a credit card, offer discounts if customers pay an order faster, and collecting debts in a timely manner. If you have trouble with collecting debts, you can hire a debt recovery agency that will recover it for you, but charge a certain fee for it.
Falling Late With Key Projects
If this is the problem, then you should immediately gather all the people involved in those key projects, assess the situation and identify the problem source. Aspects of your business plan should also be re-assessed if they are not playing out as you expected. Revise the action plan and notify all employees involved.
Business growing too fast does not always mean a good thing. If you are not prepared, it can mean trouble. Manufacturing may not be able to keep up with the rising customer demand, customer service can suffer, and even the basic organizational structures may seem not to fit their new dimensions. Adjust your business plans to accommodate the increasing size of your business.
Re-assessing your business plan only once a year is usually not enough. When the markets are changing fast, if the economy is tight, or rough conditions hit your business environment, you should take immediate actions in revising and tuning-up your company’s directions and plans.