#Immediacy on speech making

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 minimum of 8 per cent of capital employed' makes it possible to work out a plan to achieve the objective taking into account the things to be done. These might include: Finances where will the money come from? Staff what recruitment and training will be needed? Premises will more space be necessary? Timing what are the best times to do things? How much time will be needed to accomplish the various steps? Marketing what needs to be done in the way of publicity, sales force and promotion? Control how will progress be judged? What facts and figures must be recorded? Designing such a plan and all the work it entails will improve the chances of success considerably.

The proof of this lies in the experience of many businesses, when working out the programme, of finding that the objective is actually impossible to achieve, In =other words, the planning puts you on the best track and can, in extreme cases, show you before time and money has been wasted that you are heading the wrong way: In such cases the objective needs to be reviewed and the process started again. This type of experience also underlines the fact that answering the question 'What do you want?' may well start with a simple answer such as 'To be very much richer' but of necessity must be followed up by some quite detached thinking,- research and calculation. In other words, it is necessary, having decided what you want from a purely personal basis eg the villa by the Med and the luxury yacht, the ways and means= of getting these must be worked out by hard, cold, business reasoning. In the next section we will examine ways and means of expanding including diversifying which can yield particular advantages.

However, before looking at the various possibilities it is a good idea to consider carefully another important ingredient of your long-range plan how fast do you want to go? Some people are only truly happy when they are in a frantic hurry and, as an estate agent once said, 'What I really enjoy is all the cliff-hanging and wheeler-dealing in this business.' Others prefer a more steady and predictable life, taking things in easily digestible stages with time to reflect, reconsider and revise. Time should also be spent deciding whether you -would prefer a gradual increase in your business or whether you would be motivated by taking some fairly substantial steps.

I must stress that these questions are still on the personal level of what you as an individual would be most happy with There will of course be restrictions on what you can in practice achieve not least finding the necessary capital.

It is, however, important to be sure what you want because, once launched in a particular direction, it may be difficult and expensive to change course.

For those who are content to stay where they are, what follows in section 19 should still be relevant.

Ideas for improving the present business may be found and, who knows, you may well be tempted to have a go at a bigger future after all What you can do right Now Online : Write down in clear unambiguous terms your ambitions for yourself and your business; Are you progressing towards your ambition or are you being carried along by the tide of events? If the latter, prepare one or two outline plans to bring yourself back on target; Examine the options described in this section and consider, again, your outline plans. Review the plans to suit any second thoughts; Now develop your chosen plan using the planning-cycle starting with a clear, unambiguous statement of your objective; Re-read your plan several times over a period of two to three weeks and review/polish it as you do so. Discuss the plan with your employees and your professional advisers.

Revise again on the basis of any ideas they have; Are you now clear about what you want and where you are going? If you are, this website will give you some practical guidance on making it happen. By now you have come a long way. You have in the first five sections examined and analyzed your present position and considered ways and means to use existing resources more profitably.

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 want. In

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 ... read more

A decision must also be made as to the size of the ...

A decision must also be made as to the size of the steps you will take. A large increase in activity implies larger funding requirements, eg for machines or premises, and if producti