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David Shelton’s business tips: Framing a vision for the long term


Many people talk about their business vision for the long term. What does this mean and what level of detail is necessary? Broad sweeping statements probably do not go far enough because there has to be some detail on what the business will look like, the scale of the operation and the part of the market it will concentrate on. The following framework gives a good structure that covers the major high level issues.

  • Purpose: what the business does and who it does it for
  • Key financials: turnover and profitability
  • Clients: numbers and types
  • Advisers: numbers, types and productivity
  • Administration and other staff: skills, job types, numbers
  • Organisation: structure and reporting lines
  • Service and charges: the pricing and service proposition
  • Sources of business: diversified if possible
  • Business mix: by area of financial planning or other specialisation
  • Processes: the degree of streamlining and consistency
  • Technology: the full range of software support
  • Premises: staying or moving
  • Acquisition policy: to acquire or be acquired

Using this list, typically in the order above, provides a good template for thinking about the future scale of the business. Remember to be realistic as well as ambitious. 

David Shelton is a consultant at Stoke Bishop Associates


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