GERMAINE BUSINESS PLANNING

Helping You To Build Your Business

Welcome to Germaine Business Planning.

We work with businesses, public bodies and agencies, nonprofit organisations and social enterprises to help them build stronger businesses and organisations.
If you want to talk to use then please reach out.
We look forward to talking to you!
Please see our ‘How to Guide’ to Setting Up a Business below the Introductory Video!

Please view our Introduction Video...

Our 'How to Guide' to Setting Up a Business

That depends on the person.  On our entrepreneurship page we discuss the definition of an entrepreneur.  In short, how good a business idea is will depend on how you see it.  Some people follow their natural careers and set up a business based upon the work they have been doing or are trained to do.  This makes sense as you have expertise, direct knowledge and a network.  Some people start a business following on from a hobby.  I started my first company this way.  I was a Red Cross volunteer and first-aid instructor and I set up a business doing first-aid equipment, first-aid training and health & safety work.  Some people just see the business idea as if on the road to Damascus.  It is all down to the individual.

Ultimately, the success of a business is down to how you execute the business idea and business plan.  So, the main reason for writing a business plan is to assess, in advance, how likely the business is to be viable.  Remember, businesses do not fail because they are a bad idea but because they run out of money before they breakeven.  An initial business plan is based upon assumptions and is thus never going to be perfect BUT if there are weaknesses in the business idea or business model it can show these up.  Knowing this can prevent you starting a business that is going to run out of money before getting to breakeven and costing you money, time in your career, time with your family and a whole lot of stress.

Your business model is the business skeleton upon which everything else sits.  How is the company set up?  What legal structure?  Do have a worked-out pricing structure?  Who are your customers and what way do they buy?  Will you have a shop front, an office or work remotely?  Will you have staff or contractors?  All of these considerations affect how the business is structured.

All a business plan does is set out your plan to develop your business from where it is now until the end of the timeframe of the business plan.  It sets out the strategic objectives for the period, say the next 12 months.  So, in 12-months’ time you want to increase sales by 50% or break into a new market or get a new large client.  You set these goals.  It then outlines the management, operational, sales and marketing and financial work necessary to achieve the strategic goals you have set.   The reason I set up Germaine Business Planning and our ‘Write Your Own Business Plan’ programmes was to debunk the myths around writing and USING your own business plan. 

You!  There is little point in a management consultant (apologies to my fellow professional consultants!) writing your business plan and having a load of knowledge about your business…you get a several page document without the underlying learning.  Better that you write your own plan, you learn all the details and get a deeper understanding of what you are doing.  Now, you can do a course to help you along the path which is why I developed the ‘Write Your Own Business Plan’ programmes.

This is your plan for the next 12, 18 or 14 months… IMPLEMENT the thing!  Deliver on the sales and marketing plan.  Make sure your operations can keep up with your increased sales.  Make sure your management systems can keep up with increased sales and operational activity.  Make sure you are invoicing, getting paid and managing your cash flow.  Make sure you pay all your bills, especially staff, suppliers and your tax liabilities.  Do what you said you wanted to do.

By having a laser focus on your customers and clients.  Know what they need and meet these needs.  Build your network and build your client base.  You grow a business with an intense focus on sales and marketing.  Management, operations and financial activities develop to address increased sales revenues.  You increase sales revenues by focusing on your clients. 

We can offer our WYOBP programmes online and help you write your own business plan.  We can help by mentoring.  We can help by devising and implementing new projects and services.  We can help with writing grants and accessing formal funding.  We can include you in our community of interest and provide useful information.

Ask for help.  If you do not ask you do not get!  Learn from your mistakes.  Keep your ego in check and let the business be about the customers and clients.  Keep your word.  Don’t promise something you know you cannot deliver.  Be honest and modest.