A key topic that emerges in my discussions with clients is clarity of direction. You might look back at this year and think, yes, I’ve achieved some great things. But are you achieving the short term goals that will lead to your overall long term aims? I always start discussions getting clear on the client’s long term aspirations – for lifestyle, wealth, health, across the board. Setting in place the stepping stones to those aims is then the key.
Having a plan is just the start for you though – we all make plans… But unexpected events get in the way, or perhaps we don’t have good information on how we are doing, or (quite commonly) we have a block in a particular area and just don’t tackle it. Having a conversation with a business coach about the areas you are finding difficult will explore why – and find ways of helping. Sometimes I find clients have a lack of confidence perhaps about having the difficult conversations with staff, or getting out and networking, or facing the realities of the cash flow. Having a third party shine a light on the situation and suggest ways forward can be a real help to the often lonely role of the business owner.
The other important factor to consider is how you are going to leave your business – if you intend to sell, the crucial aspects to plan for are those impacting your valuation: the risk and growth prospects of the business. De-risking, by extracting yourself and the business’ reliance on you, along with systemising operations so that a buyer can easily step into your shoes, is something that takes some time. Alongside this, positioning the business to tell a great story about growth potential will reap you a much better price on sale.
Enjoy the long break – and come back to your business with renewed energy for 2016.