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What’s Ed Sheeran got that so many SME’s haven’t – a 10 Year Business Plan!

If ever a professional appeared to be at the very top of their chosen game, Ed Sheeran would surely currently be number one in any chart. Having recently completed 260 shows over a 2-year world tour, back in his home town of Ipswich, Ed has reportedly decided to take an extended break to spend more time with his new wife and, we’re hearing through the grapevine, possibly start a family.

According to The Sunday Times, Sheeran could soon be the UK’s youngest billionaire musician. An incredible achievement for a young man who originates from Yorkshire!

So, what lies behind Ed’s amazing journey and how is this relevant to small businesses?

The answer is a 10 year business plan!

(And having Yorkshire herritage!)

According to recent press articles, Ed Sheeran launched his 10 year business plan back in 2011. He was pretty specific, too, announcing that he wanted to release two more albums, each named after a mathematical symbol, then one of duets with big-name stars. This he has achieved, seamlessly and ahead of schedule. He also managed to balance this with developments in his personal life, getting married shortly before last Christmas and all of this well before his 30th birthday!

Research suggests that there are a high number of SMEs who operate with no plan whatsoever, with almost half the 5.7 million SMEs having no written goals, or objectives. And it’s estimated that businesses could be missing out on up to £25 billion in revenue due to having no plan in place.

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In most cases, new businesses start with a plan and all good intentions to stick to it. But what happens too often is that once the plan has been approved by the bank manager, it never again sees the light of day, usually getting stuck at the back of a drawer or lying dormant on an old PC.

But preparing and maintaining a business plan is an absolute essential if we want our business to succeed. “Fail to plan, plan to fail” is not only an old adage but a true one. And the great news is it doesn’t have to be a complicated, long-winded document which takes time and lots of energy to keep up to. Indeed, on this very website, Yorkshire Powerhouse has some great examples of one-page Business Plan templates, free to download, free to use and an article here.

In business, it’s wise to have both a long-term plan and a shorter term set of objectives. Most business owners tend to overestimate what they can achieve in one year and underestimate what they can achieve in ten years. So, having both short and long term goals helps in keeping perspective and motivation, as well as staying on track.

Of course, plans will change. No good business plan stays the same. Once prepared, it needs monitoring, maintaining and revising. This is often where business owners will work with a coach or mentor. Someone who will remind them of the importance of their plan, help them set aside quality time to spend on their plan and challenge them to stretch themselves to reach those targets.

So, you may not be able to sing as good as Ed, you might not have quite the earning potential of Ed but make a plan like Ed Sheeran and prepare to watch your business zoom up in the charts!

‘Proper’ strategic planning in the short, medium and long term is a valuable tool to business success – if you’ve not got your plans in place, why not engage with professional business advisors who can help you drive your vision forward?

Straight talking advice from Yorkshire Powerhouse

You’ve read our thoughts on a 10 year Business Plan – have you any questions?

Here at Yorkshire Powerhouse, we’re happy to help as much as possible – is there anything else we can do to help you, do you have any further questions or can we help introduce you to an expert – please let us know:

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