A Financial Plan for 2024 – 3 Steps for success

Financial plan 2024

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Over the festive break, amongst all the festivities you may have had some time to ponder what you want to achieve in the next year.

As you start the New Year, it’s a great time to have a financial plan in place. It focuses your mind on where you are now and where you want your business to go.

A robust plan will help you to visualise where you want your business to be and will help you to recognise the steps you need to take to get there. It takes away some of the stress which arises from uncertainty!  Also, you are much more likely to achieve your goals and business success. You will feel more in control of your own destiny – and that has to be a good thing!

Step 1: Where to start

Give yourself time away from the office (whether at home or work) to think about where your business is headed, and how you’ll get there.

Things to consider:

Where is your business now?

Consider how it operates, its profitability and competition.

Where do you want to take it?

Create a vision for business success and set out your objectives for the next 5 years. What are the likely trends?

What do you need to do to get there?

Take account of any changes needed and how you will do that. What is happening in your life? Does your structure need to change to achieve your vision of business success? Will you need more staff? Will you need help with financing?

Step 2: Review

Now you know where you are wanting to go, it is time to map out your current situation and your business processes and finances. A mind map will help!

Cost control

Think about any extra costs and how you can control them. Add any costs to your existing budget.

Cash control

Ensure that you keep in regular contact with your existing customers. Can they afford to pay your invoices on time, or do they need to go to staged payments?

Review of business processes and business finances

Things to consider:

Equipment 

Do you have the correct equipment for your job? Is your computer fast enough?  Do you need a new printer/scanner?  If you are working from home for the forseeable future, do you need to redesign your office space or even build an office?

Time wasters

Are there areas of your system that waste time but you don’t feel that you can dedicate the time to sort them out?  It will be time well spent if you do it! Consider it an investment in achieving business success.

Help needed

Do you need to ask for help when looking at your systems?  Maybe admin or marketing don’t come naturally to you?

Accounting system

Is 2024 the year when you finally start using accounting software?  If this has been an intention for ages, take action now.  Maybe even pass over your bookkeeping and free up your time to focus on your business? I have noted many times what a difference it makes to a businesses’s efficiency when they use software.

Knowledge

Are there any gaps in your knowledge that are slowing your processes down?  Is it time to book on some training courses?

Step 3: Planning for business success

Involve the right people with the right experience.  You will need people who are analytical but also creative.

Things to consider:

  • SWOT analysis – Looking at internal and external drivers for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
  • Vision statement – Where do you want your business to be in 5 years’ time?
  • Major goals – What will you achieve by when?
  • Key actions – Be as specific as you can.
  • Resources required – What will you require to achieve your goals? e.g. staff, finances, time.

Why plan for business success?

  • Gives you more focus on where your company is heading.
  • Reduces the risks to your business.
  • Using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will help you to stay on track with your progress; use ones which are relevant to your business.
  • Identifies financing needed.

 

and, of course, it helps you build a successful business

A financial plan will include:

  • Your business goals for next year and five years. Be as specific and clear as you can be.
  • What are you predicting your levels of turnover and profit will be? Do you think you may have to go VAT registered?
  • Include your exit strategy – depending on your age, of course!
  • What growth plans do you have for your business, if any?
  • Are you happy with your current pricing? What is your plan for your prices over the next year and five years?

Getting a successful plan in place takes time but you don’t need to do it all in one go! Breakdown the elements I’ve outlined above and start on the aspects you find easier. I always find getting the easy marks first sets you up well in a positive way! The main thing to do it not to just get fed up about your business; it’s to start to do something about it now! Good luck!

Anna Goodwin @2023 All Rights Reserved.

www.annagoodwinaccountancy.co.uk

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