A recent survey has highlighted the importance for small and medium enterprises of having a business plan. The research showed that over a third of UK SMEs are not reaching their full potential profit-wise.
The survey, undertaken by Exact, showed that whilst 70% of SMEs with business plans returned a profit, this was reduced to 52% for those which didn’t have a plan in place.
The aim of the study was to increase understanding of the challenges faced by small and medium sized enterprises when attempting to achieve their business goals. The findings also clearly indicated that when it comes to achieving these goals, it is those with working business plans who more often succeed (69%, compared with 31% of those without plans).
Of those surveyed who didn’t utilise business plans, over two-thirds reported that they didn’t see the need for one. This is despite the compelling figures realised in the survey.
For any business wanting to reach their potential for growth, and maximise their profits, a business plan is an important tool. They are used to identify the long-term objectives of a business, whilst also outlining the steps needed to reach these goals and measures to check progress.
They provide not only a rounded overview of the business, but also their industry sector and market trends, without which it can be difficult to contextualise the position of a business, or spot threats and opportunities for growth. For many SMEs, a business plan is a really important place to start when looking to move forward.
Also see our Preparing a Business Plan factsheet for more information.