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The Power of the Annual Plan

The three essential tools for business success, known as ‘The Business Success Trifecta’ are:

  1. An annual business plan
  2. An annual forecast
  3. On-going reporting and accountability

Sounds simple but there are just far too many business owners who don’t do these 3 things.  Worse, they have the answers in their heads and expect their team, the bank and even their customers to know what they’re planning.

Here are some simple rules about the annual business plan:

  1. Must be done … you guessed it … EVERY year
  2. On one page (print on 2 sides if you must) – any more and you’ll never remember it all so definitely won’t implement it all
  3. No more than 4 main goals for the year and ‘cascading’ 90 day goals and actions that link to those annual goals.
  4. No more than 5 key performance indicators (KPI’s or measures) – any more and you will lose focus.
  5. Share the plan with your team and have them link their personal career goals with your plan. Help them to define their own actions and KPI’s that they need to achieve (again no more than 4 goals and 5 KPI’s for them).
  6. Keep the plan and progress to the plan highly visible to your team – remember to celebrate success along the way.
  7. Review your plan at least quarterly, ideally by having someone independent holding you to account.

Anyone can follow these seven steps but that is not where the power is.  The real power comes when you work alongside the person who understands your business from a different angle than you do.  The person who cares about your success, sees what so many other business owners are doing well (and badly) and knows how to measure your progress along the way.

By working with your Chartered Accountant on your plan you get the synergy of combining your expertise with theirs – the whole being so much greater than the sum of its parts (1 + 1 = 5).

Talk to us about how we can achieve this synergy with your business.

Synergy is better than my way or your way. It’s our way – Stephen Cove

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