As a leader in your business or charity, you will likely take some time to reflect on the year just gone and your plans for 2022 – after pausing to enjoy your festive celebrations. It is a good opportunity to assess successes and failures, and decide on future priorities.
You’ll want to use this time efficiently and effectively, as we’re sure you’ll still have a Christmas movie and a mince pie or two to finish up.
Here are four areas you could focus your business planning on.
1) Reviewing your business plan
By looking back at the previous iteration of your business plan, you can see how much progress you have made over the last 12 months.
When you are in the thick of it, it can be difficult to fully see the gains you made. So, by making sure you take stock against last year’s objectives, you can understand just how far you’ve come.
This may lead you to recognise the efforts of a particular team which had hitherto gone under the radar, or to realise that you need to dedicate more resources to a certain project.
Of course, the world is constantly turning, so your plan will need to be updated for 2022.
Don’t forget to come back and revise it once you have looked at these next three areas.
2) SWOT analysis
You are sure to be familiar with SWOT analysis where you assess your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (hence the name SWOT).
What has changed in the last year?
It will probably be as tumultuous a year as you will ever have to plan for as the pandemic drags on. But, even so, you will need to prepare for life (hopefully) when the crisis diminishes.
A key aspect every organisation will have to get right is the balance between digital and physical activity – whether that be in marketing, operations or other functions.
How is your marketplace transforming? Are there new competitors emerging who are muscling in on your market share? Or perhaps you yourself will be able to pivot into a new market to drive growth.
3) Financial & cashflow forecasting
It’s also essential to understand your overall financial and cashflow situation, to ensure they are both resilient enough to withstand potential shocks and facilitate future growth.
There are many ways to forecast cashflow, and what is best for you will depend on what you are trying to achieve.
For example, some will need to present to shareholders, others will need it to manage debt repayments. Or you might just want to ensure operations run smoothly.
Is the way you have managed cashflow to date fit for 2022? If you can get cashflow forecasting right it may help you to get out of debt faster, adhere to debt covenants you are accountable for, and deliver predictable growth.
It is great for helping business owners get a good night’s sleep, too!
Having looked at the first three areas, you should have an idea of what your goals might be, where the opportunity lies, what you have to defend against and how much cash you are going to have. Now you can plan for how you allocate that money.
With a finite pot of cash, budgeting in advance will help you prioritise what you can achieve in 2022 and what will have to wait until 2023. Do you need to keep a war chest for hard times this year, or can you invest for growth?
Along with your cashflow forecasting, budgeting may help inform a decision as to whether to borrow in 2022 to be successful.
There are still some helpful options out there, such as the recovery loan scheme until June 2022 for SMEs. And the situation is evolving all the time amid concerns over the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Help with your planning
Business planning covers every single function of your organisation from sales and marketing to HR. Accounting and finance links it all together, though, so get in touch if you want to ensure your plans are robust.
We are experts in helping SMEs and charities get their numbers right so they can achieve their goals.