Saturday, June 28, 2008

SMEs - are we realistic in our expectations

When we commence our new business venture, how realistic are we in our expectations of how the sales will progress? Most business plans I see are seldom realistic! They invariably show the business making profit from the first day. This seldom if ever happens!!

If it does happen, it is often when a very popular franchise has been purchased, or if the business has commenced activity with a pre-sold order book.

This is normally a red flag for any financier who has been approached for finance for the new business. Realistically there is seldom much chance of most businesses breaking even before the end of the first six months, and it can often take a lot longer.

A way to resolve this problem is to do your sales budgets first, and then your expense budgets. Too often sales budgets are done after the expense budget, and then made to fit the occasion. Your first sales budget is normally based on gut feeel and hopefully also some market research. Rely on it and do not change it to make sure you are profitable from an early stage. If the business takes a while to turm profitable then it is quite likely realistic. If it takes longer than you can afford to carry it or raise funds to carry it, then drop the idea and find a new idea and then start the process again. The purpose is to find a profitable business, not try to force our dreams to come true even if they never can .

REMEMBER THE PURPOSE OF BUSINESS IS TO CREATE WEALTH, NOT DESTROY IT! So please review your sales projections before seeking finance and assess their realism!!

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