why a business needs a plan b

Why a business needs a plan b

Reading Time: 2 minutes

23rd May 2021

My secret passion on life is gardening. Despite being an office-based person all my working life, I am very much an outdoors person, and any weekend I will be out there, weather permitting. Of course, the weather forecast plays a big part in my weekend plans and I tend to follow that more closely than most news items.

So this weekend the forecast for Saturday was for the usual wind and rain, but Sunday was much better, with sunshine until late afternoon, before the rain returned.

So out I went on Sunday morning with my list of tasks planted (excuse the pun) firmly in my head. Within half an hour the rain arrived, and the day was ruined. Cursing the forecasters, I went wondering what to do now.

What is my plan B?

believe in forecasts

It got me thinking. What happens when a forecast goes a little bit wrong?

In business I am a great believer in forecasts – cashflow, budgets, sales etc. They are a good way of understanding your business, your targets, and the ups and downs of a business year.

As a new business they show you what you really need to do to turn your idea into a business that will keep you afloat, at the very least.

As a growing business, you need to know if and when you will need support, when and where to invest and what you will need to achieve your goals.

Forecasting is always, by its very nature, imperfect. Nobody can predict the future with 100% accuracy.

So why forecast?

Here’s 3 good reasons:

  1. It helps set your goals for the future. Forecasting helps analyse the business and show what needs to change to achieve your targets. They also provide a base to monitor performance and make decisions to keep you on your desired path.
  2. Helps budget. Forecasts show the ups and downs of your business, and by understanding these you can see when to spend and when to tighten the belt.
  3. Helps make a business pro-active. By understanding the trends in your business and the marketplace as a whole, you can adjust your business to stay ahead of the game.

And why plan B?

As my gardening exploits show, things do not always turn out the way you may have hoped. And, (though I hate to use the word) the pandemic is the extreme example that unforeseen things can happen.

In business there are many variables. Plan B is very much the “what if” question.

But it does not have to be an alternate version of plan A. And it does not mean you are accepting that plan A will fail.

Plan A is your ideal way of achieving your ideal business success and there is no need to change completely just because part of it has not quite turned out the way you wanted or expected.

Plan B helps limit damage and adapt to change.

So far from wasting a day because the forecast was not spot on, plan B has swung into action – and the garden will still be there next weekend.

“No one has any idea what's going to happen. Not even Elon Musk. That's why he's building those rockets. He wants a 'Plan B' on another world”

If you need help with your business please book a complimentary discovery call with me.

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