One in four small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK decide against implementing a business plan, leaving them in a vulnerable position should the organisation encounter problems. As Talk Business Magazine reports, new research from Barclays reveals that 23% of modest-sized firms don’t have any strategy in place to help guide them out of trouble. Less than half (47%) of the UK’s small businesses have a formal, clearly-defined business plan in place, while the remaining 25% have an informal, verbal plan.
What does this mean for businesses?
Rebecca McNeil, managing director for Business Lending and Enterprise at Barclays, highlighted what a lack of planning could mean for businesses – not just in terms of escaping uncertain territory, but taking the firm to new heights. “Having a business plan is fundamental for a small business,” she stressed. “It defines exactly what you want to achieve, how you plan to achieve it across a set time period, and is a sure fire way to ensure that growth targets and plans are being met.” She added: “Importantly, when a business is in trouble, having a solid plan can help to steer it back to good health.” The findings also revealed that only one in two (49%) UK small businesses have a succession plan in place. McNeil says this omission shows a lack of foresight, adding that more SMEs need to make sure they have a better vision of the career path for their employees. Barclays also asked small businesses about the factors that helped them achieve significant revenue growth, with “enhancing or improving an existing product or service” and “entering a new market” coming out on top. Why not take a look at some of our previous blogs about business planning for a little inspiration?