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Adviser workshop: how to make a 10-year business plan

As we celebrate the 600th issue of NMA, we ask financial planning professionals to tell us how to plan ahead.

Keith says...

The most important lesson of any 10-year or long-term business plan is to start with the end in mind.

Ask yourself: 'What do I want my business to look like in a decade's time?' This leads to a number of further questions. What location? Where and why? How many advisers do you plan to have? What type of business do you want to target? Is there enough profit in this area to make it worthwhile? Also, what type of client do you want to focus on?

In addition, ask whether adviser numbers are important. If you have the energy, systems and support, is it just funds under advice you aim to achieve (and some do very successfully)? And how can technology improve performance without losing service?

Looking to the future, consider the income and profit target you wish to avhieve at the 10th anniversary and consider when you will sell, if at all. Ask yourself whether you would buy the business yourself, both during its development and when it is mature. If you would not, start again with your planning.

Answers to all of these questions need to be addressed individually to establish what your business will look like 10 years' time and to structure your business plan. 

Top tip: Ask yourself key questions to establish your business plan.

Top quote: 'The most important less of any 10-year or long-term business plan is sto start with the end in mind.'

 

Keith Churchouse is director at Chapters Financial

 

Keith says...

The most important lesson of any 10-year or long-term business plan is to start with the end in mind.

Ask yourself: 'What do I want my business to look like in a decade's time?' This leads to a number of further questions. What location? Where and why? How many advisers do you plan to have? What type of business do you want to target? Is there enough profit in this area to make it worthwhile? Also, what type of client do you want to focus on?

In addition, ask whether adviser numbers are important. If you have the energy, systems and support, is it just funds under advice you aim to achieve (and some do very successfully)? And how can technology improve performance without losing service?

Looking to the future, consider the income and profit target you wish to avhieve at the 10th anniversary and consider when you will sell, if at all. Ask yourself whether you would buy the business yourself, both during its development and when it is mature. If you would not, start again with your planning.

Answers to all of these questions need to be addressed individually to establish what your business will look like 10 years' time and to structure your business plan. 

Top tip: Ask yourself key questions to establish your business plan.

Top quote: 'The most important less of any 10-year or long-term business plan is sto start with the end in mind.'

 

Keith Churchouse is director at Chapters Financial

 

David says...

Like many of life's relationships, business partnerships often happen through chance meetings and working relationships that blossom into long-term successes. 

Formalising those relationships is often overlooked. You should ensure business relationships are formalised with shareholder or partnership agreements that specific what happens when someone wants to retire or if a death occurs. 

Regularly sit down and talk about your business, the current environment and the 'what if?' scenarios that could occur. Include your accountant in regular discussions. Doing so will help you stay up to date with business taxation issues and maintain a financial view of your plans.

Ensure there is a plan for succession and regularly review the team to consider who is key to the future of the business. 

Successful businesses can still struggle to get key employees to buy in at meaningful levels, so it is important to be pragmatic and invesntive in exploring what can be achieved.

Above all, maintain an open and honest atmosphere that encourages dialogue between partners and directors and keeps surprises to a minimum. 

Top tip: Encourage conversation so surprises are kept to a minimum. 

Top quote: 'You should ensure business relationships are formalised with shareholder or partnership agreements.'

David Philips is director of Wealth Design

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