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If you are self-employed, own or run a business, planning helps you step out of day-to-day tasks to set work goals and decide how you’re going to reach them.
Business planning is about setting a clear plan of where you and your business are going and how to achieve goals. It also involves regular monitoring to make sure you’re on track.
Every business — from a one-person, part-time operation to a large corporation — needs a business plan. Regular business planning helps you:
Before launching Common Ledger, Carlos Chambers and his team had an idea for software to streamline the information accountants received from their clients’ different programs. They spent six months speaking to accountants in New Zealand and Australia to understand their potential market and refine their product.
“We learned there was this really deep problem that accountants around the world were facing. That’s what we were looking for — huge problem and huge opportunity and a huge way to really help this industry move forward.”
The next step was to develop an 18-month plan and a three-to-five-year strategy to turn their start-up into a fully fledged company. They’ve since raised more than $1m and launched in both countries.
“We’re close to our targets on our initial forecasts. We’ve brought on the right board. We’ve hired the right team members. All these things are probably the result of thorough planning. We would never have been able to usefully create our strategy if we hadn’t done that first six months of research.”
Read Common Ledger’s full story — and those of other small businesses — on our case studies page:
What goes into a business plan can vary, but often includes:
Avoid these common mistakes: