Planning to retire

Dark jenny thinkingHow many of us know what our business needs to achieve to deliver against our personal goals in the long term?

We all know that the state pension will be unlikely to meet our retirement needs in full. Most of us will be looking for our businesses to provide a safety net of income/capital value to make sure our retirements are secure.

However, as Steven Covey says you have to start with the end in mind. This means that you have to plan NOW to ensure you get out of your business what you need for the future.

If, like me, your business is largely centred on you as an individual your business is unlikely to be worth very much to someone else when you decide to stop. This means that your business needs to earn enough for you to make decent pension contributions now to fund your retirement.

If your business employs other people to deliver the product/service then you may be able to sell your business to realise value when you retire. However, you can only maximise this value if you start to plan several years ahead. It is vital that you can distance yourself from the business and that it can run without you, for example.

Whatever your goals it is never too early to start positioning your business so it is in the best position to meet them. If you don’t, you may find your retirement dreams end in cash strapped nightmares.

Fiona 🙂

A walk on the Moor

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 12.05.26If you remember back to my earlier blog you will recall that I asked how you would use your bonus day this year.

Well, a couple of weekends ago I used mine – my bonus day was Friday and I set off for Dartmoor with some of my girlfriends for a weekend of walking, food, wine and chat!

I have to say the journey down was horrendous as the cars were lashed with rain. However, a stop for lunch meant that as we enbarked on our first walk of the weekend the sky was at least rain free.

Although the rain had stopped the day was pretty misty and murky. But we had a preplanned route, our phones’ GPS, a map and a compass so we weren’t going to be put off.

It’s interesting walking without always being able to see very far ahead or around about. Certainly without the map to guide us – and the occasional help of our phones to confirm where we were – we might have got horribly lost.

Good planning meant that we didn’t.

There are parallels here with running a business. Just as if you have a clear destination in mind, and a map to guide you, you are likely to get to where you want to go; if you are clear on your business goals, and have a robust plan to guide you, you are much more likely to build the business you want.

Many people stroll off onto the moors with no map – and often completely inappropriate clothing – and are surprised when they get into problems. They get themselves lost and are miserable whenthe rain comes down because they dont have waterproofs and sturdy boots.

Well prepared walkers have proper boots and waterproofs. They also carry emergency items such as first aid kits and whistles, so that when the unexpected happens they are much more able to deal with the consequences.

In business, as when walking, it is always wise to expect, and plan for, the worst but hope for the best. Then if the worst does happen it won’t be a disaster.

Anyway, as you can see from the picture below the weather cheered up for the rest of the weekend and we had a wonderful time.

Fiona 🙂