Is your business designed to make a profit? Do you have a target profit figure in mind? If not, you should consider creating a profit plan for your business. While a business plan shows the results you hope to achieve, a plan for profits details how you intend to make it happen. It puts you in charge.
To increase the chances of reaching your profit objective, follow this guide and learn how to create a profit plan for your business.
What is Planning for Profits?
In a nutshell, planning for profits requires management to make a set of decisions that describe how a company intends to reach a target profit level. As such, his plan details what actions will be taken, who will do them and when they will be done.
In this sense, a profit plan is a pro-active road map that an owner can use to take the company from Point A to Point B. It discourages wandering off on side roads and keeps the business focused on the goals.
The process of creating a profit plan forces you to make realistic evaluations of the strengths and weaknesses of your company, also known as a SWOT analysis. The results of this analysis will form the basis for determining a practical and achievable profit objective, not a pie-in-the-sky goal.
How to Create a Profit Plan
You will use the profit objective from the SWOT study to identify what steps must be taken to reach this goal. Is it a rise in sales, a reshuffling of your product mix, an increase in selling prices or a reduction in expenses?
Using your historical financial figures as a basis, identify the changes that will be necessary to reach your profit objective.
You must determine the actions needed and who will be responsible for the results. For example, you might:
- Invest in research and development to modify product features to meet changing customer preferences
- Expand by opening locations in other regions
- Purchase more efficient production equipment
- Negotiate better prices with suppliers to reduce costs of production
- Hire additional sales staff
- Spend more on marketing
Once you have made these decisions, the required actions can be incorporated into your profit plan. These actions can include making projections of revenues and setting costs for manufacturing products or providing services and establishing, In addition, it should also include budgets for overhead expenses. Any additional capital investments should identify the sources of financing, either funded internally or with outside loans.
The resulting document becomes the road map that defines the company’s activities for the coming year. You can set up reporting systems with benchmarks to measure progress along the way.
How to Make Your Plan Effective
An effective profit plan should have the following traits:
- Key managers and employees must be involved in the planning and development
- The analysis must be thorough and address all of the company’s important short- and long-term issues
- The plan should anticipate future trends and changes in the company’s market environment
- You should make provisions for changes when key assumptions prove invalid
What are the Benefits of a Profit Plan?
In addition to providing a clear direction for your company, a profit plan has other benefits. A profit plan is useful for:
- Giving managers explicit financial goals and objectives
- Defining specific performance metrics for employees
- Educating employees on the direction of the company to gain their participation
- For motivating key employees
- Establishing a foundation for making strategic decisions
- Creating action plans as a basis for monitoring progress and measuring performance
Planning to make a profit is an important mindset for every small business owner. Profit plans create a different perspective of making something happen rather than working hard and hoping to get good results. You can increase your odds of success by taking charge of the business and directing it where you want it to go.