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A new report commissioned by npower Business and carried out by One Poll suggests that many start-ups make brief, informal business plans when they start – and may never look at them again, let alone update them. Are you one of the guilty parties? 

In the Naughty Corner…

… Were the hospitality and logistics SMEs. The poll showed that a third of all hospitality and events companies (such as fast food outlets and nightclubs) and a quarter of all transport and logistics SMEs simply plan as they go – they may have started with a rough plan to get initial finance, but after that it’s ignored – they just wing it from then on!

Even more worryingly, the research revealed that one on ten small businesses don’t make or follow a business plan at all, and nearly a quarter of all businesses only plan three months in advance. 

Gold Stars Go To…

… Businesses in the accountancy, banking and finance sector. Three quarters of those surveyed in the sector said that they followed a formal business plan, and 80% revisit the plan to ensure they are meeting their targets. It’s an example all businesses should be following.

Phil Scholes, head of npower business, said, “Our aim is to raise awareness of just how important having a proper business plan in place and working to it actually is. Clearly it has to be flexible, but there has to be some properly thought-through structure.”

Plan for Success

While a record number of new businesses – an astonishing 581,000 – registered with Companies House last year, 36% realised within a month that running a business was far harder than they expected; and their ability to survive is debatable at a time when many small companies are struggling to grow and attract investment and finance. These are areas where a business plan becomes vital.

“You fail to plan, you plan to fail,” warns Phil Scholes.

So when was the last time you looked at your business plan? Is it a structured document with short-term goals, long-term targets and contingency plans? Or was it a few lines scrawled on the back of an envelope that disappeared into the recycle bin many moons ago? If you’re still doubtful that you need one, let this article – Do I Need A Business Plan? – convince you. Once you’re ready to write one, you’ll find this useful too: Tips For Constructing A Cracking Business Plan.

Happy Planning!

 

About The Author

Karl Bilby

We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!

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