Why does a business need an up to date Business Plan?.

An up to date business plan is an invaluable business tool, it is a living document that should be continually revisited, revised and update in the light of changing circumstances and actual performance in order to assist senior managers / directors to effectively manage the business.

  • It provides senior managers / directors with an independent assessment of the current business performance and a roadmap for the future
  • An up to date business plan is often a pre-requisite in securing financing, ranging from an overdraft facility or bank loan to Government / EU Grant Aid or Angel Finance
  • It helps a business to grow organically as well as through the outside funding mentioned above - it is a decision making tool to be used a a working document by the business' senior management team / directors.
  • The process of developing a business plan is itself a valuable and stimulating exercise and can contribute greatly towards building a cohesive team who develop a commitment to and ownership of the plan

Why use a consultant?

To be effective, ownership of the plan must be vested in those who will be implementing it, so it should not be done by an outside consultant alone working in isolation, a business plan should be developed with the full participation of the management team. An experienced outside consultant adds significant value to the process of developing the plan and provides invaluable guidance and expertise in the processes involved in its development and also in the tailoring of the final document.

An outside consultant will provide the guidance that will ensure that the business plan is fit for purpose and adequately conveys a plan of action that will achieve the business' strategic objectives and a means of monitoring the progress towards achieving those objectives. An experienced external consultant will act as a guide and facilitator in taking the team through the various analysis stages in the planning process.

  • SWOT Analysis to identify the business' internal Strengths and Weakness and external Opportunities and Threats
  • MOST Analysis to ensure that the strategy, tactics and action plans set out in the Business Plan are in alignment with the business' Mission and Objectives.
  • Brainstorming - in order to identify alternative opportunities, strategies and senarios.

The external consultant will also provide financial expertise in the analysis of current year financial results and the development of the Profit and Loss Forecasts and Cash Flow Forecasts associated with the Business Plan.

Key Benefits

  • Benefit 1 - Access to experience and skills not usually found internally in an SME.
  • Benefit 2 - An independent and objective overview of the business and the strategic options available to it in order to meet its objectives.
  • Benefit 3 - A focused approach by a strategy professional not distracted by the day-to-day problems of running the business.
  • Benefit 4 - A comprehensive Business Plan which is fit for purpose and "owned" by those tasked to implement it.