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Live the dream

Live the dream

Your business ambitions can be achieved by taking a methodical approach to planning, Hitachi Capital Franchise Finance says

How can you turn your business ambitions and goals into reality?

Hitachi Capital Franchise Finance suggests your process should be methodical and thoroughly planned, while honestly reviewing your financial viability.

Failing to plan is planning to fail

Some people set up and run businesses without a proper business plan. However, many of these fail within the first few years. Don’t allow your failure to plan get in the way of your business ambitions.

So what should you do?

Set smart objectives

First of all, you need to set SMART business objectives that are:

Specific:

ensuring your objectives are focused on what you intend to achieve.

Measurable:

see how well you’re doing and make decisions that will get you back on course if necessary.

Achievable and realistic:

by all means, show ambition. However, explore all angles and make sure it will actually be possible to achieve your goals.

Time-based:

so that you and your team have a time limit to work towards.

Understanding your market and competition

Next, you need to understand your market - both local and national - and competition.

Depending on your product or service, you may have identified a few key customers already, but you should know who your competitors are:

  • Who else is offering the same or similar solutions to your prospective customers?
  • How are they achieving this and what are your competitive advantages over those businesses?

While it’s tempting to believe you have a unique solution to a problem, it’s unlikely. A competitor matrix, highlighting your USPs and how your proposition differentiates itself, is a great way to review your business model.

Operating strategy and marketing plan

Your operating strategy is how your business works; the logistics behind your product or service, ultimately determining where you position yourself in the desired market. This is to be considered alongside your marketing plan. The best possible marketing strategies are those that test and learn as a target market responds and the proposition evolves. You should have a clear idea of your market and pricing strategies, but you need to constantly monitor and adapt them as you gain market feedback.

Assessing your resources

You will need to assess the physical and human resources required. This may include any property, equipment, machinery and the team you will need to achieve your goals. Are your current team qualified to do the job, will they need extra training or will you need to hire additional team members?

Financial projections and cash flow forecasts

All the above needs to be costed into the financial part of your plan.

A monthly profit and loss projection will track your progress and ensure it’s worth pursuing the dream, while the monthly cash flow forecast will help you identify whether you can actually afford to do it.

Your projected balance sheet will show you what the business is going to look like in monetary terms in the future, how strong it could be and the degree of solvency, which will hopefully give you a safety net if things take a little longer than expected.

At a glance Hitachi Capital Franchise Finance

For more information call 01844 355575 or email fundingteam@franchisefinance.co.uk

hitachicapital.co.uk/franchise-finance

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