We all spend our time seeking that quick win or new innovative way to grow our businesses, whether to obtain more customers, increase profits, or just find that illusive work-life balance.

However we’ve learned from experience that sticking to the basics and ensuring you take time out to review your business regularly works.

It’s even worth considering obtaining some expert advice or a critical friend to help you formulate a plan to achieve your aspirations.

Business Doctor's top five business tips to achieve your vision.

1. Ditch the business plan
You may have had a business plan when you first started in business, or when you last required funding.

However when was the last time you looked at your financial plan? It is likely lying in a drawer somewhere, or just collecting dust on a shelf.

What you need is a strategy, a living, breathing document or system which drives inspiration and creativity and provides you with something to continually refer to, going forward. So, where do you start?

2. Understand why you want it!
Ask yourself, what’s in it for me? Be selfish and be clear on your own personal aspirations.
A client I worked with in 2016 had plans to retire at 50 to spend time with his family and travel.

He was 34 at the time; his goal was to build up a property portfolio to secure a future income by reinvesting surplus profits from his business.

So, when work opportunities come in, he asked himself; “is this contract going to help me achieve my dreams?” If “no”, he didn’t quote for it, or even turned the work down.

I bumped into him on Saturday; he has just purchased his eighth property in two years and shared with me that he is now planning to retire well before he is 50.

3. Build your business on firm foundations

Discover and understand what is important to you by knowing what you look for in people.

This is all about defining your core values. For instance, if the key attributes you look for in people are honesty, quality, high level of customer service and ethical responsibility, get them written down and ensure you surround yourself with similar minded people.

This applies to staff and suppliers, but you will also find that your best customers match your values too.

A further tip here is to share your core values by creating a sentence to describe each value – ie by delivering this value, identify what this means to your staff, customers or suppliers and share these. A great example is Procter & Gamble .

4. Understand what business you are in!
A key success factor is knowing why you do what you do and, more importantly, why you may choose not to do certain things.

Key here is understanding from a customer’s perspective, what do they buy from you?

A good local example is Burnetts Solicitors .

Fundamentally, they provide legal advice and services across many sectors and disciplines, just the same as many other solicitors.

However, they understand that’s not what their customers buy.

I attended their recent new office opening in Carlisle and they have their mission statement displayed all around their offices.

Burnetts exist to “work alongside their customers to prevent and solve problems”.
To find out your own WHY is not easy; for a helpful hand in determining why you do what you do in your business, watch Simon Sinek's TedTalks .

5. The most important step now (and where most plans fall down) is to actually do something

Once you are clear about your vision and focus, create a visionary goal by putting a number on it!

Whether that be turnover, profit, market share, or to be known as the #1 business in your sector in the area within a set timescale.

Then, regularly set aside time to work on your business and to review your plans.
However, an essential success factor is to ensure you have a support network of liked-minded individuals to support you.

The most effective learning is peer-to-peer, so, find similar minded business owners and associates; create a trusted network, as you will likely incur growing pains along the way and become in need of a support network.

While these appear to be easy steps to take, don’t isolate yourself - it can be very difficult to achieve your aspirations on your own.

“Solitude, isolation, are painful things and beyond human endurance.”

Jules Verne

If you are looking to review or grow your business, Business Doctors offers an initial free business health check and can help you to establish a clear vision, to start working on the steps to fulfil your aspirations.

We will also be running some Freedom seminars and workshops during October and November across Cumbria.

Please keep an eye on our website's events page .

Alternatively contact either:

Peter Fleming 07966 686112 email peterfleming@businessdoctors.co.uk | Steve Howard 07774 287640 Email