Planning for the future – the WR Partners experience

05 Jan 2021

With many businesses currently operating hand to mouth and fighting every day to survive, the thought of spending time on the long term strategic direction of their business might, to many business owners, seem like an investment they just can’t afford to make. I would argue however that now is exactly the time that business owners need to lift themselves out of the day to day and really consider the future for them and for their business.


The reality is that not all businesses suffer to the same extent during a downturn – a drop in national or local GDP is just an average and while many businesses do suffer (and sadly go under) there are others that not only survive but indeed thrive during tougher times. It is also a clear that there will be an end to this (even if that currently seems to be a long way off at the moment) and businesses that come out of the other end of this crisis with strong foundations and a clear plan for the future will be the ones best place to take advantage of the opportunities the recovery will present.

Even in the best of times many owner managers are so wrapped up in the operations of the business that they don’t take the time to plan for the longer term – they are too busy working in the business to work on the business. Even in our own business it is often easy to lose sight of the bigger picture because we are too busy – the trick is to ask ourselves are we “busy” doing the right things?

As a leadership group at WR Partners it is critical we don’t lose focus on what really matters to the long term future of our business. Initially we invested a great deal of time in developing a clear set of goals and identifying the key actions we need to take to reach those goals – all of these captured on a one page plan. This plan is the document which sets out the strategic direction for our business in a clear, simple manner and we regularly revisit it and challenge ourselves to ensure that we are on track and we still believe the direction set initially is the right one. All of this was done before the pandemic hit, but we have kept that discipline throughout – there may be a few more twists and turns along the way than we might have anticipated but the end goals remain the same.

By doing this we have been able during the current challenging times to roll out a fresh, new and exciting brand which aligns completely with our core beliefs as a business, and to expand the business with two new offices in Cheshire. We have total confidence that we will emerge into the “new normal” with a business which has not only survived the pandemic but is ready to thrive in a post Coronavirus world.

This time we spend working on our business is the most valuable time we spend as a team and has brought us together like never before. At the same time we acknowledge that we could not have achieved what we have to date without outside help. Having someone outside the business challenge us and ensure we are on track has been a hugely valuable part of the process. The key has not been that we have been given the answers – there is no one secret recipe for success as a business. Instead we have been asked the right questions and pushed to find the answers within ourselves – at times a confronting process but it means that we really “own” the strategy as we have built it ourselves and not followed the theoretical ideas of others.

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Having been through the process ourselves we can attest to the value at both a business and a personal level.

We would challenge every business owner to ask themselves if they really have a clear strategy for the future – even if it is just “I can’t go through this again so I want to find a way out!” then at least you have a goal to work towards.

If you would like to understand more about the strategic planning process that we have undertaken and how we might be able to bring that to your business and help to protect your future, then register your interest today for a one-hour free strategy workshop by clicking the button below:

Written by Paul Brown | Tax Partner

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