#Immediacy on speech making

Whatever the case, now is the time to do some self-questioning. Further ...

Whatever the case, now is the time to do some self-questioning. Further expansion is unlikely to be any less demanding of time, worry and sweat, and there is also some truth in the saying 'the bigger they are the harder they fall'. On the other hand, the business may be more secure if it grows and/or diversifies. Some of these expansion possibilities will be examined in the next section, but at this point it is important to clarify your ambitions and wants. This can be done by answering a series of questions: Am I satisfied with the profits I currently enjoy? How much more profit do I need to satisfy my wants? Must I, in any case, expand the business to make it more secure? eg because the business is too dependent on one or two major customers If expansion is preferred or necessary, am I willing to take on even more work and worry, or can I see a clear way, to delegate some of this to branch managers or other staff? Regardless of the financial rewards, security of the business, the work load, etc, do I enjoy myself so much that I want to develop further for that reason? These are sample questions and there may be others, more appropriate to you as an individual or your particular business.

Their relevance, and the satisfaction for spending time on them, relates to the need consciously and objectively to decide what you want. It is only too easy to work on from day to day and week to week being carried by circumstances into new levels of activity, or different activities, without standing back and saying, 'Hold on a minute, do I really want this?' The whole purpose of running your own business is to give you what you want, and it is on the basis of these wants that the future should be planned.

Assuming that you know what you want, it is now possible to examine some of the options open to you.

Remember that we are also assuming that you have accomplished the objectives mentioned in the first paragraph of this section, namely the best use of resources as the business stands now. Some of the options Dependent on the results of the self-questioning, you may opt for: Closing down and perhaps starting again in a new queue of business; Keeping things more or less as they are; Going for more expansion by increasing market share and output of your present products or service; Expanding by going into different markets, creating different products, or a combination of both; or Expanding to a pre-determined target size, market share or income level or some combination of these. Examination of these options should lead you to decide on a target or objective for the future and, to achieve it, a plan.

You are now getting into 'Corporate Planning' or Tong-Range Planning', beloved for good reason of big businesses. Such planning is almost essential for success almost, because, although unlikely, it is possible to get there by sheer luck and is worth taking time and trouble over.

Developing the plan The first step in developing the business plan is to define the objective in as precise a way as possible.

This precision is necessary in order to plan in a practical and realistic way and to avoid any woolly ideas which are likely to remain as pipe-dreams. Do not, for example, state your objectives as: 'To expand as much as possible'; or 'To make more profit'; or 'To take a larger share of the market'. Such objectives are almost meaningless, even if well intentioned, and give you nothing positive to go on. For instance, what does 'as much as possible' mean? Also, how much more profit? Again, how much larger a share of the market? The objectives should set some target against which progress is measurable and from which it is possible to calculate what has to be done.

An objective such as, 'To expand the business on the retail side ...

An objective such as, 'To expand the business on the retail side to obtain 50 per cent of the sales in the Manchester area by 2015 while maintaining gross profit at a minimu... read more

Add to this a cost-refund programme, better control of the finances and ...

Add to this a cost-refund programme, better control of the finances and a rethink of your objectives and you are well placed to go for growth if that is what you wa... read more

There may be a product not worth continuing, sunk stored in space ...

There may be a product not worth continuing, sunk stored in space which could be used for other things, or even a bad layout which, if rearranged, could satisfy your space needs. Clearly