Business planning overlooked by SMEs

Almost a third of small and medium-sized business owners are operating without a formal business plan in place, according to research by Close Brothers Asset Finance.

The survey found that 29% of SMEs do not have a business plan, with 43% of these claiming that they don't believe they need one.

A further fifth (19%) say they prefer to have their business plans in their head rather than writing it down. 15% say that having a plan for the future isn't a top priority.

The figures are based on the Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey of the views of small and medium-sized business owners and managers.

The survey also found that 39% of those who do have a business plan review it annually and a fifth review it once every 2 years. A further 14% undertake a review every 2 to 5 years.

Brian Dhenin, managing director of the Broker Division at Close Brothers Asset Finance, said:

"It is somewhat concerning that so many small and medium-sized firms do not have a business plan as without clear direction, they may be missing out on opportunities for growth and not realising their full potential.

"Planning is key to any business throughout its lifecycle. A formal plan can be an extremely valuable tool for managing and growing a business as it allows a company to recognise its strengths and weaknesses and ensure they have appropriate plans in place."

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