Once your business is operational, it’s essential to plan and tightly manage its financial performance. Creating a budgeting process is the most effective way to keep your business - and its finances - on track.
This guide outlines the advantages of business planning and budgeting and explains how to go about it. It suggests action points to help you manage your business’ financial position more effectively and ensure your plans are practical.
Planning for business success
What to include in your annual plan
A typical business planning cycle
Budgets and business planning
Benefits of a business budget
Creating a budget
Key steps in drawing up a budget
What your budget should cover
What your budget will need to include
Use your budget to measure performance
Review your budget regularly
When you’re running a business, it’s easy to get bogged down in day-to-day problems and forget the bigger picture. However, successful businesses invest time to create and manage budgets, prepare and review business plans and regularly monitor finance and performance.
Structured planning can make all the difference to the growth of your business. It will enable you to concentrate resources on improving profits, reducing costs and increasing returns on investment.
In fact, even without a formal process, many businesses carry out the majority of the activities associated with business planning, such as thinking about growth areas, competitors, cashflow and profit.
Converting this into a cohesive process to manage your business’ development doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. The most important thing is that plans are made, they are dynamic and are communicated to everyone involved. See the page in this guide on what to include in your annual plan.
The key benefit of business planning is that it allows you to create a focus for the direction of your business and provides targets that will help your business grow. It will also give you the opportunity to stand back and review your performance and the factors affecting your business. Business planning can give you:
- a greater ability to make continuous improvements and anticipate problems
- sound financial information on which to base decisions
- improved clarity and focus
- a greater confidence in your decision-making