How far ahead does your business plan? According to new research, the majority of the UK’s businesses only plan between 6 and 12 months ahead, although would like to plan further in advance in order to take advantage of all their growth options and be prepared for what lies ahead. However, this isn’t always possible – many say it’s the uncertain economic climate as well as irregular income that’s holding them back.
55% of SMEs wish that they could plan further in advance, recognising the many benefits of long term planning for their business. Energy efficiency was one measure where many businesses don’t implement a plan for their consumption; a quarter of businesses still don’t implement any energy efficiency measures, quite a high figure given the huge awareness about the importance of these type of measures. This means they could be losing out on opportunities to save.
For nearly half (42%) of SMEs questioned said that the day to day running of their business prevented them from making long term plans. Many said that if they had more time and resources it would be easier for them to plan for the future. 60% said that being able to fix big overheads such as energy prices would help; given the rising prices this is perhaps a pertinent point for many businesses. Knowing what their outlay on overheads would be in the near future would make businesses more confident when spending money on growth.
While it is impossible for businesses to control the economy, there are some things that they can do to help make long term planning possible. As well as fixing overheads wherever possible, it could also be useful to take advantage of invoice finance services to make sure you know when payment will be received on invoices. This is one of the many steps that could help you plan for your business future.