Putting it all together

Whatever stage you are at in your business cycle you need to:

• Develop a SMART business plan
• Implement the plan
• Regularly monitor your performance against the goals in the plan
• Review and adjust your plan where appropriate

Remember, you do not need to do all of this on your own. We will be pleased to help at any stage. To develop a SMART plan it is a good idea to start by writing down exactly what your business does, or will do, and then specifying what it is that makes (or will make) your business a success.

Does it have unique features, added value, or a geographical monopoly? Why do, or should, customers choose your business? What would happen if these advantages were lost?

There can be many features that make your business unique, and your plan should reflect how each of these ‘Unique Selling Propositions’ (USPs) will contribute to your business success. With these in mind, draw up a list of business goals and compare it with the list of personal financial objectives you drew up earlier to make sure there are no conflicts.

Once you have a list of specific business goals that harmonise with your personal goals, ask yourself the following questions:

• What must I do to achieve these goals?
• What investment of time, money, and other resources is required to achieve each goal?
• How long will it take to achieve each goal?