1 September 2016

Business people discussing during a meetingThinking of starting a business? Everyone gets that far; but what if that idea you shared with your friend in the pub or a loved one on holiday keeps coming back to you? Perhaps there is a business there. We’ve all dreamed about being the next Richard Branson, relaxing in the sun on Necker Island, but what’s the reality for most new business ideas?

My first ‘great’ idea was a café, and after almost 12 months of planning, it opened. I personally put in the funding and treated it like a new hobby. 12 months later, I sold it for virtually nothing! I’d made loads of mistakes, lost several thousand pounds but learnt lots of lessons in the process. The café is still there 15 years on and it’s thriving now. I drive pass it almost every day thinking about those mistakes and they stand me in good stead for all I do now.

When I started my next business, I had even more drive: failure affects me like that. I spent more time on the financials and most importantly of all, this time I had a ‘Business Plan’.

Ok, so it was the Business Advisor that suggested – no, insisted – that I have one, and to start with, it seemed like just another hoop I had to jump through to borrow money. But actually my Advisor sat down with me and we spent time developing the plan in all areas. There was the business idea, some research around the market and the customers I wanted to attract, a marketing plan, lots of good sound financial information, some aims and objectives for the business and information about me, personally, and my goals.

After that I decided it would be good to update the plan regularly and we still spend time every month developing and updating the plan – it’s now the central part of our business.

Of course, you do need lots more than just a plan to succeed in business, but to me, it’s priceless in keeping our business on course.

Written by Ian Bird, Nwes Business Advisor.

If you’d like to learn how Nwes can support you to build your business plan, get in touch today.

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