So you’ve finally found a few moments to sit down, in peace, to think about the future of your business.

You ask yourself. How will I develop my business?  How will I accomplish business growth? What is the best course of action?

In just 10 minutes you can start to answer those questions.

Beginning with a blank piece of paper can be frustrating and fruitless. How do you go about starting to plan your business when you only have 10 minutes to spare each day?

The first step is to get a clear understanding of where you are now, today. Start with the 10 Minute Arm-Ache Challenge.

(Yes I know you will want to expand on these areas subsequently but just spend a few minutes jotting down your instant reactions to these questions to get you started).

Don’t think about it too much at this stage, just jot down your thoughts as they come. You’ll find this will produce all sorts of ideas and actions to improve your business.

Question 1: Which markets are you in? Which products or services do you (really) offer?  2 Minutes

Hint: Note down your current markets, types of customers, market trends, your key offerings, the benefits of your products or services, your competitors, your differentiation, your opportunities

Question 2: What do you do now to win new customers and keep existing ones?  2 Minutes

Hint: Note down your current marketing and sales approach, pricing, channels, promotional activities, key customers past and present, what you know about those customers, key benefits they purchase, your inspirations

Question 3: How do I operate the business?  2 Minutes

Hint: Note down your location pros and cons, source of your product / service, your resources (IT, people, equipment etc.), your key processes & procedures, ideas for improvement

Question 4: What is my financial position?  2 Minutes

Hint: Note down your sales, gross profit, gross margin, overheads, operating profit, cash position, break-even, your insights

Question 5: What actions can I take to improve my business?  2 Minutes

Hint: Note down the insights, ideas, opportunities and actions these jottings have inspired, list and prioritise.

In just 10 minutes you will have identified key priorities in your business. Use this to take action.

Now spend time understanding in more detail your current business situation. You are far more likely to build the business you want if you have a clearly defined starting point from which improvements begin. This is your starting point for growth.

To help, you can download the Accomplish Business Planning Situation Checklist from the resources section http://business-accomplish.co.uk/resources/.

Give it a go!