Last week I published an article based on my own experiences of starting up a business here in Scotland. It was very well received and we got lots of excellent feedback and comments.

So here is part 2: Planning & Growth


 “Failing to Plan is planning to fail.” How true is this statement?Planning in business has so many elements, but to cover them all, it would take a whole article on its own, so I will just focus on a few key aspects of the planning process that I have adapted and learned over the past two years.

Planning is not just about planning your daymonth or year. It’s about creating your vision for the business, how it Feels, Smells and looks like once you have achieved business success.

It’s about your “WHY”. It’s about planning for the “WHAT IF” and working out a contingency plan. It is about identifying your strengths and weakness, it is about developing the skills required to get to where you need to be, it is about surrounding yourself with the right people, those who will be there for you when you need them the most. Those whom you can ask them for help and advice when required, those who will lift you up when things don’t go to plan.

Having someone who really cares about your success is KEY to your growth, you really need someone to ask you those difficult questions that cannot be someone too close to your business either.

When I started my business, I always had an end goal, a vision, a target and a destination. I tried almost every goal-setting processes available on the market, some were too complicated and some were just boring, this drove me to create my own goal-setting process, a goal setting and defining process that makes everyday activities seem easier to achieve #itworksforme, a process that has now been implemented by all my Business Coaching clients (with immediate positive impacts), most of my workshop attendees and corporate clients, and you know what, they love it. The simplicity of knowing exactly what they need to do an by when.

Of course, like everything else, there is always the need for things to evolvechange and be modified when required and over time, the goal-setting process I started with has changed, thanks to some of my clients feedback, I believe I have perfected an easy to follow step by step goal process that can be used by any individual for any business or profession.

When being asked to present at networking events, I always ask one simple question, and to this day it still shocks me that only < 3% of all business owners actually set goals, write them down with a detailed plan of action that they must take to achieve their goals in business.

97% of business owners not setting goals for themselves or their business.

The Federation of Small Businesses have stated the following statistics: 20% of start-up business fail in the first 12 months50% of start-up business fail in the first 5 years and 70% of start-up business fail in the first 10 years. That equates to only 3 businesses out of 10 survive past the 10-year mark, so all that hard work ends up down the drain.


“Not all these businesses need to fail. With the right planning, funding and flexibility, the business has a better chance of succeeding.”I don’t blame those who don’t set goals, society, in general, don’t know how to set goals, they were not taught the importance of setting goals.

Unfortunately, most of us just float around like a hot air balloon waiting for the right windright direction to pop up, right moment or perfect conditions and hope for the best. This can all be avoided by having a destination in mind, a set of goals and a plan on how you can achieve them.

Worst case, you know what not to do, at best case you smash your business goals and succeed.

The Do’s:

You must know where the money in your business is coming from and where it’s going in order for your business to succeed. Your business can also fail if you lack a contingency funding plan, a reserve of money you can call upon in the event of a crisis. Sometimes people start businesses with a dream of making money but don’t have the skill or interest to manage cash flow, taxes, expenses, and other financial issues. Poor accounting practice puts a business on a path straight to failure.

If you want to make a success of your business, you must and I repeat you must, set goals, write them down, break your goals into a plan and set of actions. Whatever goal setting method you are going to use, ensure that it is situated in a place where you can see your goals every single day. You are more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. Writing your goals down not only forces you to get clear on what, exactly, it is that you want to accomplish, but doing so plays a part in motivating you to complete the tasks necessary for your success.


Simple steps of how to set your goals:

  1. Set your goals for the year
  2. Break your goals into 3-month goals and plans
  3. Break your 3-month goals into monthly goals
  4. Break your monthly goals into weekly goals
  5. Break your weekly goals into daily goals, and then

Taking Action: It is as simple as that!


Write your daily goals at night before you finish work. Why is it important to do so? Your brain is still active, and your subconscious mind will work ways and create ideas of action items that will enable you to achieve your goals#itsnotmagic, it’s a subconscious process of focusing on the things you think about most often

Research and review the way other successful businesses in your industry or sector operateDevelop a complete business plan that includes financial forecasting based on predictable revenue and strategic marketing. The ability to test and measure your actions are key to your overall success.

Understand your market: Research the need for your services or business idea, your competition and area you want to set up in. Failing to do this at the beginning is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in business. Trust me, this was one of my early mistakes and I paid the price for it, a very expensive one.

The Don’ts:

I think I have covered some of the don’ts when starting up a business, but I can’t help myself but repeat this quote “Failing to Plan is planning to fail.”

Don’t follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing, don’t sit, hope and wish for the results to come to you.

Goal setting will be overwhelming at the beginning, it will be difficult at times, along the way your fears of the unknown will make you doubt yourself and your abilities, but over time it will become easier and it will become part of your daily Routines and Habits

You will not succeed from the first attempt, that’s a fact, it’s more than likely you will get it wrong, the key here is to never give up and to keep moving forward.

If the plan doesn’t work, be fluid and flexible, change and modify the plan but don’t give up after the first few attempts.


“It’s not how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”


Growth: When I talk about growth, I don’t just mean business growth, personal growth is just as important as business growth. Adopting a strong mindset, an eagerness to continuously learn is very important and will ultimately help you grow your business. A strong healthy Mindset is one of the biggest determining factors of success. Believing in yourself is what separates the winners from the losers. You have a far greater chance of succeeding if you decide that losing is not an option.

Education and learning did not and should not stop at school, college or university, in fact it’s the other stuff you learn whilst failing that drives the biggest value, I mention this later, model someone who has done it before you, so you don’t have to make the same mistakes they did.

“The more you learn, the more you earn.”The Do’s

Be willing to spend at least 5 hours a week to read and educate yourself, to master your business or master your craft, failing to improve yourself else is wasting precious time. Set an hour every day to listen to an audiobook or read a book or an article not just in your area of expertise, but also, in other areas and fields as well. It’s good to have a basic knowledge and understanding of things that can or will impact your business. This way, you will grow personally and professionally, and you will reduce the chances of being scammed by those who prey on others lack of knowledge.

Reading, learning and educating yourself is never a waste of time. In fact, the more you learn and read, the more chances you will have to tackle your business and life challenges as they occur.

The Don’ts:

Don’t fall under the belief that by attending a training course, workshop, or programme that you will change there and then, it takes a lot more than a day to change a set of habits or routines. Change is painful and necessary,but it requires hard work, commitment and consistency. Attending training courses and workshop do add value, real profound value on some occasions, to you and your business, but you need to be willing to execute the learnings. Don’t expect to leave, do nothing or little to nothing and expect change, it’s not going to happen, apply what you have learnt and make it a habit. Take one or two key points/actions and implement them.

Inspirational and motivational workshops and development programmes are a great form of mindset development but are only as good as the actions you take. Don’t come away feeling inspired and then do nothing, you are throwing your money and time away.

For example; you don’t go to the gym for 8 hours and come away fit, healthy and with a good physic, its all about learning the techniques, with repetition, then changing and adapting them to fit your lifestyle for a minimum 4 to 5 days a week for a prolonged period of time that gives you the results you desire.

Millions of people have done it before you, so it’s both plausible and possible. You do not have to reinvent the wheel. Identify someone in a similar business that you want to become like or someone you admire and model their behaviourstraits and characteristics, you will ultimately grow. Dress like they dress, act how they act, do what they do, model their behaviours, you will have a high probability of becoming an authentic version of whom you want to become.

To be continued next week ……..

Next week’s article will be about the following subjects:

Media Platforms & Coaching.

You can find the first part of this article in the link below.

Interested to find out more, message me. I will then happily arrange a FREE strategy call with you, after which we will decide together on the best course of action.


James Fleming

The Power Within Training & Development