No business plan ever survives in its original form. Ideas you initially thought were great often don’t work, and new ones often present themselves. So why should you even bother writing one?
There are three main reasons:
- It makes you think about where you want to take your business, the destination you want to get to
- It allows you to chart your progress, so you know if you are heading the right way
- It will help you to create financial budgets so you know the turnover you need in order to break even
The first few months after opening a cafe for the first time can feel a bit like being a kite in a hurricane (not that I’ve ever been on a kite in a hurricane…) but you get the idea. At times you may just feel like you’re holding on for the ride, and it’s incredibly exhilarating to be living out something that for months or years you have only been dreaming of … but it’s at this time, when most new cafe owners are now starting to survive on nervous energy, that referring back to your plan will ground you.
The problem for most owners is that they throw out their well thought plan because it’s much too complex to review. Which is why it’s a great idea to take your plan and create a one page plan with your “BIG picture” or “30,000 foot overview”. This will not need to take more then 30-60 minutes as you’ve already done the hard work, you are simply thinking about how you want to implement the plan you have.
I use a one page plan which you can download here. On it I take time to consider what my key theme will be for the year for example the first year could be about Foundation. I take from that my quarterly objectives.
- Q1 could be systems and staff
- Q2 Sales Processes
- Q3 Marketing & Growth
- Q4 Fine tuning and Finance.
I will then set from 3-8 key objectives that I plan on completing for the quarter. A great way to help in this process is to ask yourself this question:
What one to four things could I work on that would make the biggest impact on the success of my business?
Planning ahead like this, allows me to focus on breaking the year into four distinct quarters. I review the plan daily which keeps me on the right track. It’s also incredibly powerful because it stops me from wasting days doing things that are not critical to my long term business success.
This plan will also get you laser focused on moving the business out of its early infancy phase and keep you growing out of that difficult first year in the business.
If you need more information to help before you write your business plan read This.
CLICK HERE to download your own page planner.