As a part of its continued commitment to support small business owners, Hitachi Capital Business Finance has launched its very first Smart Business Planning programme to help owners of small firms develop a tangible business plan for companies looking to scale and grow.
This comes at a time of uncertainty for UK businesses and, with many businesses looking for ways to get their business back to a point of profitability or to grow even further. Research from Hitachi Capital Business Finance shows more than four in five small businesses (83%) are putting in place specific action plans to try to secure growth as lockdown is eased and this an additional resource to help give them the best chance of success.
The new programme is available to all small business leaders and is designed with flexibility in mind, they can be used as a set of tools and guides altogether or individually depending on the particular needs of the small business owner.
The Seven Steps to SMART Business Planning
- Setting business objectives – create a clear set of business objectives. This means analysing, assessing, and understanding where the business is now and where you want it to be. Giving yourself a workable timeframe here is also important.
- Establishing a USP & competitor analysis – step by step, how to identify valuable USPs that set you apart from your competitors so you can achieve the market penetration you desire.
- Creating a marketing strategy – This is often an afterthought – but with more businesses operating online because of the pandemic at reduced capacity, it is important to ask yourself questions like: How does the business get the most value from the marketing strategy in a cost-efficient way? What can be left out of a marketing strategy?
- Resource planning – What will be needed – both in terms of equipment and people? When will it be needed – straight away or later as sales increase? How much will it cost – to acquire, maintain, and run?
- Creating an operations strategy – it is useful to create an outline of all the key elements that need to be considered when creating an operations strategy.
- Conducting a SWOT analysis – One of the easiest ways to do a SWOT analysis – which helps you identify the potential weaknesses and strengths in the business. The results available on our website are easy to understand and ready to use.
- Using a profit and loss statement – a profit and loss statement template which enables the business owner to lay out out the itemised details of sales and purchases that have been made by your business.
Gavin Wraith-Carter, Managing Director at Hitachi Capital Business Finance commented: “At Hitachi Capital, we have been working with SMEs for 35 years and know that time and resource is sparse. Despite the pandemic, small business confidence has bounced back with speed and we want to provide additional help where necessary so that these leaders can meet their business goals in the months ahead. The new programme will provide a robust framework for their business and help encourage them to think of ways to improve what they already have.”