Many people dream of owning their own business, but when they do sometimes they find that in fact the business owns them! So how do you gain control over your business so that it serves you rather than enslaves you?

If you’re after time freedom in your business as opposed to wanting to continue to grow your business then these are the keys things to implement:

An annual business plan
An annual forecast
Ongoing reporting and accountability

The Annual Business Plan

I know we are always talking about business plans, but there’s a reason for it the old saying “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” is certainly true.
Rather than an in depth business development plan (for growing your business) your annual business plan should be on one page and displayed somewhere visible so that you can review it regularly.

Your annual business plan should set out exactly what you want from your business, like this:

• The hours you want to work
• The holidays you want to take
• The income you need

You need to set no more than four goals for the year. Once you’ve set out your goals the best thing to do is to break them down into quarterly goals. These goals also need to have outlined, clear actions that you will need to take to achieve them.

You’ll also need to isolate key performance indicators (KPIs) that will allow you to monitor how you are going with your goals.

The Annual Forecast

Many business owners only create a cashflow forecast because the bank requests it, but do you know why the banks request these annually? An annual cashflow forecast will highlight any weaknesses in your business and show when any cashflow problems may arise. If you know these things it will enable you to manage your business efficiently so that you can achieve the goals in your business plan above.

Ongoing Reporting & Accountability

It’s not enough to simply write an annual business plan or get an annual cashflow forecast you have to implement them as well. Constantly reviewing your progress against your KPIs are absolutely crucial for you to track your results and make sure that you are progressing towards your goals.

The best way to implement your plan is to find an accountability partner. This could be a business coach or someone else in your support team such as an accountant.

There’s no magic elixir that you can take to regain control of your business, but implementing these three tools in your business is the next best thing.