Having reviewed my plan I can see that bank charges are an area where we can save money”Daniel Wilson, Scarborough Jim’s plan looks 12 months ahead.
“You can’t just write any figures in the plan, you have to be realistic,” he says.
I am hoping to achieve a 70% reduction in banking costs, meaning a saving of about £9,000.”Cutting costs is also on Trevor’s agenda.
“We look at a range of areas across the business, including staff training, ranges, and pricing.
“In its purest sense, the plan looks at where you’re going and how you’ll get there,” says Jim.
“I have a profit margin that I expect to achieve by adjusting pricing via epos.”Dean is currently using his plan to develop his business.“I use a train station analogy - you need to know where you’re going, the right track, and what station you’re going to.And if things aren’t going where you expect, you need actions in place to get back on track.”Trevor Higgs, who runs the Essentials university store in Canterbury, Kent, agrees that a business plan is essential in order to map out the future of a business.“We have free-to-use ATMs in our stores, which see up to 100 transactions a day.I’m trying to move around any excess cash to other machines to avoid being charged for paying it in.“Our directors have a five-year plan, and I have a three-year plan, which I review quarterly,” says Trevor.“The most important part of the plan is the financial side - how changes in the environment are going to affect us.An army wouldn’t dream of going into a fight without a plan of action, and yet many independents are already on the battlefield that is the convenience sector without an inkling of where they are headed, or why.“Many people put a business plan together to get a bank loan, but then they put it away in a drawer and don’t look at it,” says Dean Holborn, who owns two stores in Redhill, Surrey.“If they took it out and analysed it six months down the line, they’d find it very useful.” “You’ve got to have a plan,” concurs Jim Leese of Londis in Chorlton Down, Dorset.You then have to question whether there are good reasons why it has changed.Sometimes it might increase because the staff are doing longer shifts because the store is busy.