Lack of business planning putting companies at risk

More than half of firms have no formal plan on paper

More than half of UK businesses are putting their future at risk by not having a written business plan, it has been claimed.

According to a new survey by accountancy firm PKF, 46% of companies have a strategy but have not formally written it down, and 9% of firms have no business plan at all.

A quarter of companies with no business plan said ‘the owner makes the decisions’. The second most popular excuse was ‘not having time’ to formulate a plan, with 17%.

However, despite the lack of business planning, 65% of the companies interviewed said they were projecting growth of up to 25% in 2007.

“The research findings suggest that businesses are riding the wave of relative economic prosperity in the UK but many appear to be forgetting some business basics,” said Mark Lister, PKF corporate finance partner.

“Businesses need to balance their drive for growth with ensuring that strategies for tackling tougher times are in place.

“Recent interest rate rises should sound a warning that favourable economic conditions should not be taken for granted; managing directors need to plan for the future so that their businesses are capable of surviving and thriving during leaner periods too.”

Lister said that while it is not impossible to succeed without proper business planning, the most effective companies were the ones aware of the opportunities and threats in the marketplace.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2007

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