There’s a lot to keep track of with your business, from your employees to your equipment to your inventory. The day-to-day tasks keep you busy, but you also need to keep an eye toward the future.
When’s the last time you were able to take a step back and look at the big picture regarding your company? What do you want to accomplish in the next year? In the next five years? In 10? Refreshing your business plan provides you the opportunity to assess where your company stands now and plan for the future.
Even if you don’t have a formal business plan, you likely have identifiable processes and goals for your company. Start there.
Think about all aspects of your business, including employees, customers, inventory, and marketing. Work through each area, identifying strengths and weaknesses. Where can you capitalize on those strengths and how can you improve? This process establishes the foundation for revising your business plan.
During this step, solicit feedback from managers, employees, customers, and vendors, among others. These perspectives will give you a more holistic view of your company, with feedback coming directly from those involved in specific aspects of your operations.
Effective plans require an objective. By identifying a specific direction or end result, you can follow suit with your plan. It starts with goals:
For your final goal list, don’t include the steps that lead to a final result. For example, you might want to expand your product output by buying more acreage. This isn’t necessarily a goal, but a step on the way to achieving a goal.
Your primary goal may be to increase sales by a certain percentage. Think along those lines. When drafting or revising your business plan, always come back to your overarching goals.
After you decide where you ultimately want to be, use your business plan to map out how to get there.
Don’t include generalities in your plan. Be specific. For instance, if you want to add employees, assign a number or percentage.
Use specific figures to track your progress and help you decide if you need to make any adjustments in your plan to reach your goals. Those figures might change, but they still help you focus your efforts.
A business plan geared toward achieving unattainable goals is a failed plan from the start. Breaking sales records or seeing exponential profit growth every year isn’t always feasible.
To achieve desired results, it often takes investment and time. You may not hit your business goal in the next 12 months—or three years. But perhaps you will in five years.
Much like when renewing your business insurance policy, there are important questions to consider when refreshing your business plan. Examples include:
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our industry has seen a shift in consumer buying habits—how they shop and the products they shop for. As shared in our 2021 horticultural trends article, the pandemic helped accelerate that change, and our industry will continue to evolve for years to come. What does this mean for your business?
Keep tabs on outside factors that can impact your business:
Staying educated on industry news and market developments will help you adjust your plans and prepare your business.
Use free resources available online to help you create or edit your business plan.
Your business insurance provider can help, too. Business plans and insurance coverage often go hand-in-hand. Having a solid business plan can give you a better understanding of the coverages you need now and how they might change over time.
At Hortica®, our associates only serve horticultural businesses. We have more than 130 years of industry experience, we understand the risks businesses like yours face, and we can help you with your business plan. Contact us, and let’s talk about the future of your business.
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