The research comes from a telephone survey of employers in the industry by People 1st, and showed that 48 per cent of companies saw a sales and turnover increase with a business plan, while only 31 per cent managed an increase without having one.
Executive director at People 1st Martin-Christian Kent said: “With such a clear link between increased sales and turnover and business planning, you would almost think that every business would be making sure they take part in an annual business planning process, yet that’s just not the case. It’s clear that a lot of companies need help in this area.
“In addition to the direct link between business planning and increased sales and turnover, our research also found that 31 per cent of those without a business plan saw sales and revenue fall, compared to just 20 per cent with a plan.”
People 1st’s research also showed that 57 per cent of companies which were following a business plan invested in training regimes for their staff, while only 27 per cent of those without a plan did so.
There was a clear link between staff training and increased sales and turnover too. Of the business which implemented or funded training over the last year, half saw an increase in turnover, compared to 32 per cent that didn’t.
“That’s quite significant and could make a big difference to a lot of businesses,” said Kent. “These businesses were also increasing their workforce more often than those that don’t take part in annual business planning and are probably also more effective in attracting excellent candidates by offering more competitive pay and conditions, along with great career opportunities.”
Kent added that planning wasn’t the only thing that would help businesses succeed though.
“The research isn’t saying that business planning will solve every problem a business faces, however it does show that it can help organisations make the most of opportunities, especially around recruitment and training,” he explained.