Better planning means better business

Small firms are sacrificing productivity due to a lack of time to plan their business strategy properly, according to the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI).

Almost all (95%) of the business managers and directors surveyed by the DTI believe that spending more time planning daily operations would improve overall business performance. However, nine out of ten respondents invest less than two hours each week on business planning, with almost a quarter of these saying that it’s a simple case of not having enough time.

More than four in five (84%) worry that they are not able to spend enough of their time planning to improve their business in a more proactive way. The DTI believes that, to quote a cliché, by failing to plan, small businesses could well be planning to fail.

Lack of time for planning is such a problem that many SME owners use their precious spare time instead:

– 60% plan for their business en route to work
– 40% plan late at night at home
– 30% plan at weekends, thus leaving less time for rest and relaxation
– 25% plan for their business either on holiday or while running on the treadmill, playing tennis or during other supposed leisure activities.

“While it seems that there’s a trend to plan outside of normal business hours, the most successful businesses are those that have a systematic approach to planning and strategy,” advises Andy Poulton, the DTI’s best practice champion. “Managers and directors should look at how these businesses work and introduce these best practice ideas to help improve their day-to-day management.”

To help those struggling to find planning time, the DTIÂ’s best practice unit has produced a guide, Ideas for business management, which can be downloaded by clicking here.

Related Topics

Business planning