Do You Have a 5-Year Plan?

Do You Have A 5 Year Plan

When you’re running a business, it’s likely each day is very busy; perhaps it feels like you barely have time to come up for air. Everyday activities and operations that keep your business moving forward are your main priority and finding time for long-term planning is not on your immediate to-do list. Besides, who can think about what you want to happen years down the line, when just keeping your customers happy, your employees engaged and having enough money in the bank to pay salaries, consumes your thoughts.

However, please believe me when I say that creating a long-term business strategy has numerous benefits and they are benefits you will reap the rewards from in the present moment, rather than having to wait years for.

Making your plan a reality

While every business owner’s goals and priorities will be different, there is one thing that ties them all together and helps you make them a reality… 


That’s why a 5-year plan is one of the first areas I address with any new client. As a finance strategist, I need to know where you want to be in the future so we can create an effective financial plan to help get you there. 

If your answer to ‘do you have a 5-year plan’ is any of the following, this blog is a must read for you: 

  • No, I can’t think that far ahead
  • Sort of but it’s not very detailed
  • Yes, but I haven’t looked at it in years
  • It’s on a post-it somewhere
  • I prefer to fly by the seat of my pants

So, here are the basics of the 5-year plan and why you need to grab a pen and some paper to get yours out of your head!

What is a 5-year plan and what should it include?

A five-year business plan is essentially a strategic roadmap to help you achieve your long-term goals. It could be that you want to produce a certain amount of revenue, grow to a certain amount of employees, or obtain external funding or investment.

The sky is the limit when it comes to these long-terms goals, and rather than your end points, these goals are your starting points. That’s because once you have the larger goals established, you can work backwards and evaluate the smaller steps you need to take to achieve them.

Why should you have a 5-year plan

As with anything in business, the most motivating factor will always be the ‘why’? 

Well, a 5-year plan helps you establish what you have an appetite for when it comes to your business; it helps determine what your priorities and goals will be and there really are no wrong or right answers. Having this plan will help you measure your progress and keep you on track and not get distracted. Let’s face it, with so many day-to-day activities consuming your time, it is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.

How to make your 5-year plan a reality

As a finance strategist, I need to know where my clients want to be so I can help them plan their journey. Planning the smaller steps isn’t for everyone and that’s where a finance strategist really can add value to your business. 

I tailor my clients’ strategies according to where they want to be. I tailor the steps we need to take to achieve the small goals that will lead to their big dreams. What I cannot do is tell them what their dreams are. That’s something they have to do on their own. 

But, once we have those long-term goals written down, we are able to put a number on those dreams and reverse engineer them. Together, we break down the steps they need to take and what they are going to cost.

The point of a finance strategy is that there are no arbitrary numbers in the plan. Your dream might feel ‘outlandish’, but by working backwards and looking at what real-life solutions we need to implement, we ensure that dream becomes a reality. 

So, let’s look at those long-term goals.

How to establish your long-term goals

This is the fun part and it’s where visualisation can really help. You might want to imagine yourself 5-years down the line and write about what you can see in your vision (be as detailed as you like) or you might want to create a vision board with images particular to you. 

Use your senses to imagine and describe where you are with your business. 

  • How does it feel?
  • What can you see?
  • What sounds can you hear?
  • What’s changed?
  • Who is around you?
  • What time do you start work?
  • When do you finish?
  • Where are you based?
  • Who are you helping?
  • What is your turnover?
  • What do you bring home each month?
  • How has business positively affected your home life? 

Make the picture as vivid as you can and make it seem like you are already there. When you’ve done that, working towards it can feel far more exciting because you’ve already ‘seen’ where it is you are heading.

Next steps

  1. Your future business deserves your attention. If you haven’t already done so, take at least 10 minutes to really visualise what it looks like and what you will have achieved in 5 years.
  1. Segment your vision into induvial, larger goals
  1. Write down the steps you need to take to achieve those goals
  1. Work out what the timeline is and when you should work towards each of those steps
  1. Estimate what costs are associated with each step
  1. Review your past financial results and sales data, and use that help to predict future growth to ensure you have the budget that matches your requirements.
  1. Conduct a SWOT analysis to collect the information you need to help maximise on future opportunities or potential threats that could impact that budget.

The point to the above is that life is unpredictable, and your business outcomes you set without a plan in place are likely to differ to the forecast you make now. However, with a five-year plan you are more likely to stay on track and be successful.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to your 5-year business plan and the strategy that you need to take, then book in for a no-obligation strategy call with me

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