Some common questions
How many businesses have you helped?
Over the past ten years I have worked with people from about 250 businesses. I can honestly say the A-Z list covers the spectrum from Architects, Builders and Cleaners to Well-drillers, Yogis and Zoologists (but most are tradies).
What type of businesses do you work with?
See above. My clients are people who own or manage a whole range of businesses of different sizes in different sectors. I like to work with people and teams who are open to new possibilities.
When is the best time to develop a plan?
Now. Some people think that planning around the new calendar or financial year is the best time because they feel more motivated to think about the future at these times. If that works for you, that's great but the truth is that if you want to build a better business the best time to start is today.
What information does a business plan contain?
This varies from plan to plan but at its core it is likely to consider what is happening in your market and with your competitors and customers before clarifying your competitive advantage. There will be some strategies and actions around how you will win new work, what core processes you will have to excel at and what resources (including people, equipment and cash) you will need to achieve your goals. Practical time-bound actions and responsibilities will then be developed around these goals
How long does it take to develop a plan?
Anywhere from less than a day to about a month. A plan for a small business or any business that needs a clear specific problem solved can sometimes be completed in a few hours. My preferred way of working is to run four or five short workshop style meetings over about a month. This enables everyone to stay fresh and think about stuff as we move along. Obviously a more intensive approach is required for remote clients.
Who will help me develop my plan?
I will help you. Occasionally I work with other experienced consultants if I think they can add real expertise, but only with your permission. You can learn more about me here.
Who else should be involved?
There is much to be said for involving a team of people who have different skill sets, knowledge and perspectives. However a plan “developed by a committee” can lead to a plan developed through consensus which usually turns out somewhat vanilla. Happy to make a recommendation for you but the decision is yours.
We live in a rapidly changing world so why bother planning?
A good business plan should never be cast in stone and should be a living document with broadly defined long term goals and laser sharp short-term goals. “Long term” strategies are implemented through “short-term” actions and a good plan will recognise this to ensure your business remains agile. A good business plan should comprise a series of rolling short term plans.
I don’t live in Darwin, can you still help me?
Yes. I regularly visit clients across the Territory and by using a good online resource base and free accessible technology I can help anyone anywhere develop their business plan.
I just want to increase my sales, why do I need a whole business plan?
I have developed a number of sales improvement plans but they need to take into account your business as a whole – who are your customers? What do they need? How will you help them? What is your sales process? Do you have the resources and most importantly can you generate sufficient profit and cashflow to retain a viable business. A good business plan will help you answer these and other questions.
I’ve previously had a bad experience with a consultant. Can you give me references?
Of course. There are quite a few references on this website but if you want to talk to some specific clients, I can arrange for that. Let’s get together for an initial meeting first
How much will it cost?
That depends on the size and complexity of your business, how much preparation you want to do yourself and whether you want a large glossy report or a shorter concise report focused on objectives, actions and outcomes. Most of my clients prefer the latter and so do I. My aim is to provide you with good bang for your buck.
Are there grants available to help fund my business plan?
Probably. There are a number of potential sources of funding depending upon the size and maturity of your business and/or whether you have specific investment/development plans. I can’t help you apply for these grants but I can point you in the right direction.
Can you help me with implementation?
Absolutely, I have a number of clients who I coach, most of which I initially helped with a business plan or another project.
Got another question? - talk to me using the contact details below.