I’ve had a Business Plan Before and it Didn’t Work! Why Would it be Different This Time?

We often hear this challenge when talking to business owners about their business plan, or lack of one.

However, it soon becomes apparent upon deeper conversation that the issues that caused the business to underperform previously are caused due to the way this business plan has been put together.

Common reasons for a failing business plan might include unrealistic forecasting, such as underestimating the time and effort it takes to turn a profit. Business plan failings might also be due to inadequate market research, through asking the wrong questions or drawing the incorrect conclusions, therefore working with a specialist who knows how to target the most profitable markets can realign your business strategy.

A failing business plan might also be due to being too rigid and not allowing for growth. As every industry is going through unprecedented change due to technological advances, today’s business plans need to be working documents and not set in stone. Periodically reviewing your plan, can take advantage of new opportunities and avoid unforeseen hazards.

Whilst a business plan might be the issue, it can also be suggested that the plan might not fail because it’s flawed but the people or processes being used to implement it are not correct or suitable. Blaming a business plan for failure when the wrong people have been employed or there is a lack of effective business processes results in the same result as blaming a road map for bad driving or poor journey planning.

Another common problem with business plans is the lack of a fully thought out exit strategy. Whilst it is understandable that exiting the business is the last thing on many business owners’ minds when first producing a business plan, we often find ourselves asking ‘how can you plot your business journey if you don’t have your destination decided’? And more importantly, how can you hold yourself to account?

An exit strategy is one of the most important parts of your business plan and if you don’t spend enough time on this aspect, it can often explain your plan’s failure to deliver.

A business plan is not just a good idea – it’s a foundation stone for business success. The good news is that GJC Advisory has the experts you need to help you write and make sure your next business plan succeeds.