We’re doing a Small Business Week mini series featuring insights and advice from small business professionals and industry experts. Small Business Week, which runs from Oct. 21 to 25, is an annual celebration of entrepreneurship that has been celebrated in Canada for 34 years.
The City of Vaughan has a strong and vibrant small business community of 9,900 businesses. Small business is the backbone of a successful city, and Vaughan proudly supports the growth and entrepreneurial spirit of this community.
Here is the first post in the series:
Transforming Your Business with a Business Plan (Part 1)
A ROAD MAP TO SUCCESS
Successful business growth is like travel: with the right map, you will reach your destination. A business plan is the map every business needs in order to reach its goals.
Many companies believe that business plans only apply to startups, but this is a myth. As a result, many of those companies miss out on the opportunity to better manage themselves. A business plan is just as important for startups as it is for any other company.
THE BENEFITS OF A BUSINESS PLAN
There are many benefits to implementing a business plan for small and medium enterprises. It helps to:
- Guide a company’s growth
- Manage a company’s priorities
- Assign responsibilities among management and employees
- Track a company’s progress
- Plan cash flow
PROACTIVE VS. REACTIVE
Although a business’s growth depends on many factors – like the overall economy and changing market needs – a business plan helps a company operate proactively instead of reacting to changes as they happen. A plan prepares a company by:
- Highlighting its SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)
- Having predetermined goals and objectives in place
- Identifying priorities
Think of a business plan as a company’s barometer, tracking progress in relation to targets. Without a plan, how can you tell whether or not you are moving in the right direction? What would you measure the company’s progress against? A business plan allows business owners to track progress, measure results and manage the business.
Finally, a business plan is instrumental for developing a budget and planning for the availability of working capital to implement your business strategies.
Dwight Eisenhower once said, “The plan is useless, but planning is essential.” If you don’t plan, the opportunity to use the planning process to steer and manage the company is missed.
SMALL BUSINESS WEEK
Want to know more about the business planning process? Business owners are invited to attend a free business planning seminar during Small Business Week called How to Boost Your Revenue with a Business Plan, followed by a personal consultation with a Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre (VBEC) consultant:
Seminar: How to Boost Your Revenue with a Business Plan
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2013
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Maple Library, 10190 Keele St., Maple, ON L6A 1G3
Speaker: Julia Gersh, Small Business Consultant at VBEC and Business Planning Expert at Bull’s Eye Business Consulting.
Click here to register for this free seminar.
Q: How many hours did you spend planning your business before your started your business?
See you at Small Business Week!
Small Business Consultant
Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre