Three more weeks until the 2022-23 financial year begins. 21 days to get your business spending plans and sales goals in place.
Or is that really necessary? Unless you have a boss who requires such things from you, forecasts and setting financial goals feels like one of those difficult, non-urgent jobs that are perfect for filing and forgetting in the ‘good intentions’ basket.
After all, business will still happen, with or without a forecast. Sometimes (especially recently) what actually happens makes a complete mockery of the forecast. So why bother?
Because, done right, business spending plans and financial goals will drive the building of a business that serves you.
If you read my last blog post, you’ll know I recommend starting by figuring out how much money you personally need from the business. Knowing how your life will be different if the numbers in the plan are achieved helps to the plan less abstract.
Now you need to look at what the business needs.
Firstly: Are there any aspects of your work situation that you wouldn’t put up with if you were an employee? I’m not talking about low pay here – that’. I’m talking about things like an office chair that makes your back hurt. Terrible lighting. Or no paid sick leave or holidays.
Make a note of anything like that, and investigate the costs of likely solutions. These are the second lot of numbers to go into the spending plan.
Now consider what investment may be needed for the business to run well:
- Business tools – the things that help you generate money – does anything here need to be upgraded?
- New product development or professional development – something to complement your existing range or skill set?
- Technology: Computers, phones, projectors etc all get to the point where they’re past their use-by date, run slowly, won’t update the latest version of the software.
- Visibility – what would help you to find more of your ideal client? Does any of your marketing collateral need updating or creating?
- Clients – all businesses need them, but not all clients are good for all businesses. Are there any of yours that cost you more than they’re worth?
- Contractors: Are yours available when you need them? Good at what they do? Easy to deal with? Or would you just love to be able to hire one?
- Premises – there’s no shame in running a business from a garage (just ask Apple). The question is, are your current premises working for you?
Remember, at this point it’s not about figuring out how on earth you will pay for these things. It’s just about information gathering. Being real about what your business needs is what makes the your plan a living, useful document.