Business plan warning following survey

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More than a third of small to medium-sized firms in the North West don’t have a business plan in place, according to the latest research by Close Brothers Asset Finance.

Of those that admitted they do not have a business plan, two fifths say they don’t believe it is necessary, while 35 per cent claim that it isn’t a priority and a further 10 per cent say that they prefer to keep plans in their head.

The figures are drawn from the results of the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey that canvasses the views of small to medium-sized business owners and senior management.

Mike Randall, chief executive, of Close Brothers Asset Finance, said: “It is somewhat concerning that so many firms in the region do not have a business plan as, without clear direction, they may be missing out on opportunities for growth and not realising their full potential.

“Planning is key to any business throughout its life cycle. A formal plan can be an extremely valuable tool for managing and growing a business as it allows a company to recognise its strengths and weaknesses and ensure they have appropriate plans in place.”

“Organisations of all shapes and sizes may benefit from a business plan, however, a plan is only useful if it is reviewed regularly to ensure that it meets the current and future needs of the business.

“Therefore it’s sensible to review current performance on a regular basis and identify opportunities for improvement and growth.

“Of the companies we talked to that do have a business plan, the majority said they believe that financial strategy is the most important aspect of it.”