Adapt to make it in the crunch

PLANNING ahead is essential for surviving, competing and winning during the recession and the latest survey from Business Link in the East of England reveals planning trends across Hertfordshire-based businesses. With the new financial year under way Busi

PLANNING ahead is essential for surviving, competing and winning during the recession and the latest survey from Business Link in the East of England reveals planning trends across Hertfordshire-based businesses.

With the new financial year under way Business Link says companies need to keep up to date with trends and technology, ensure they refresh old procedures and have a strong and relevant business plan in order to attract customers and increase sales; and sometimes that means stepping back and taking a fresh look at how the business operates.

According to the survey, annual business planning has not been a key focus for 70 per cent of Hertfordshire businesses and only half of respondents adapt their business plan each year. Despite this and more reassuringly, nearly eight out of ten respondents agree that planning has become more critical this year in order to both survive and thrive in what have become increasingly difficult markets.

A wise 65 per cent of those who completed the survey have identified the need to consider potential issues and crises in this year's business plan - something they have not done previously.


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It is encouraging, says Business Link, to see that 60 per cent of Herts-based businesses are taking all areas of the business into consideration when planning and are seeking advice, where necessary. In Hertfordshire, the primary sources of advice on business planning are colleagues, and advisers from Business Link and other organisations.

However, it has been recognised that businesses are paying out for advice unnecessarily.

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Minister for Employment Relations Pat McFadden said: "In a downturn every penny counts and we don't want small businesses spending on advice the Government provides free." He also urged small businesses to "familiarise themselves with the Business Link online resources".

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