Whether it’s the health of your business, or your own personal health, a clear plan for the future will help you deal with any issues you encounter.

I recently heard about a husband and wife who decided to sell their business because one of them developed a long term illness. Their situation worsened when the other spouse was rushed to hospital. I do hope that they can find a solution to the day-to-day challenge they have in operating their independent business.

Personal health is one part of the challenge for all independent business owners. The other side of the coin is the health of their business and this is not just limited to small independents. The problems at Tesco and the other big supermarkets have been a regular feature of media reports in 2014 and will no doubt be there in 2015 as well.

What can you do to limit or avoid these sorts of problems for you and your business in 2015 and beyond?

For your personal health and wellbeing, make an appointment to see your doctor to get checked over for heart, blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol etc. Get more exercise. Make time to get out of your shop and meet more people.

For the health of your business write a new business plan or if you have a current plan, review and update it to make sure that it still fit for purpose. Developing and regularly reviewing your business plan can be a powerful process.

I wrote my first plan as part of the process of buying our first shop. I needed a bank loan and the bank manager needed evidence to show that I knew how I would make the repayments and their money would be safe. My first plan did that and helped guide my business for several years. That was until I found that I needed a marketing plan to run alongside it.

That worked very well, but when my wife and I started to talk about retiring I knew that we needed a significantly better business plan. That was in 2003 and the plan was driven by the opportunity presented by our local sub postmaster offering to sell his business. Our business plan provided us with the evidence that the investment and changes to our business that we were considering would work, and it did.

Make 2015 the year to plan your future.