The one real opportunity during the lockdown period has been the ability for individuals and businesses to press the pause button and to think deeply about why their business exists.
More often than not we meet with business owners that spend too much time focused on the operational aspects of their business, without allowing for enough time and space to consider the why, how and what it is, that they are in business to do. With this in mind, we thought it an opportune moment to look at the concept of personal plans, and discuss some of the fundamental steps towards formulating your own plan.
Amidst many of the conversations we are currently having with our clients, what is most striking is the lack of clarity around personal plans and the need for having a business strategy that allows for the successful delivery of this plan. A personal plan will offer focus and ensure that any strategic plans for the business are set up in a way that delivers on these aims and ambitions. This is demonstrated by certain clients that when considering a personal plan for the first time and looking to understand how and when they might be able to retire, have actually found out that they were in a position to do so already, and in some cases probably several years beforehand.
So where does this planning process start?
As already mentioned, this has to start with your personal aims and ambitions and in this regards we would suggest the following as a starting point: -
- Consider the legacy you want to leave behind, including what impact you want to have on your local community and what protection & support you want to leave your family.
- Consider your retirement aspirations, both financially and holistically.
- Establish your current net worth by listing out your assets and liabilities.
- Build a financial model to demonstrate your cash requirements - you will then start to understand the required significant life events that will support any retirement plan, for instance realisation of business sale, property downsizing, cashing in of pension.
Once this plan is established, measures can be put in place to maximise the personal income generated by looking at how this is invested and ensuring tax mitigation strategies are in place. Many individuals simply do not appreciate how best to do this and where they may be missing out on opportunities.
It is also key that the plan is set alongside your spouse/partner, as future-proofing for inheritance and estate purposes will be required and therefore important that you are both on the same page.
So, we would urge you to stop, create the space required to consider your personal aims and ambitions, and build a personal plan of action. Once this is in place you will be much clearer as to what the business needs to deliver for you. This will in turn help you to start working more “on" your business rather than “in” it, by lining up your personal aims alongside a sound business strategy.
This approach will naturally vary from individual to individual, as some may be driven by maximising business net worth and resale value whilst others wish to improve a work-life balance and at the same time guarantee a basic income entitlement remains in order to support their families and those working in the company. Unless you truly understand what it is you want from life you will more than likely struggle with why you get out of bed in the morning, and the business will subsequently lack the critical direction it needs.
Businesses and leaders with a clear plan provide clarity of vision and mission for their teams, thus ensuring that they are energised, engaged and empowered in all that they do. They understand their role and the difference they can make for themselves and for their colleagues.
Understanding and facilitating planning is central to the business advisory role we play with our clients, and this sits at the core of how we train our people along with the fundamental technical aspects you would expect from us.
Our team of experts are here to help you establish a personal plan or business strategy, so please do contact me on 01702 606852 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
to discuss further and get your personal and business goals firmly on track for the months and years ahead.