It seems that at least once a week I meet with business owners who feel lost in their businesses. They feel overwhelmed with issues that take up valuable time and energy, but do little to help the bottom line. This leaves them with little to no time to address the things that do. In nearly each of these situations, I find that they have no long term plan or goal whatsoever. They just keep working harder and think things will work themselves out. But as you know, they rarely do.
I was speaking with a friend of mine recently, a former Navy S.E.A.L. about what I’ve seen. He told me of a saying the teams used concerning the importance of always having a plan. “Plan the dive. Dive the plan” he said. “If we swim faster, deeper or further than we planned, we surface somewhere different than we intended to, and that’s almost never a good thing.” That statement helped me better understand and communicate the incredible importance of having a plan in your business. Growing, advertising and operating without a plan is a pretty sure way to eventually find yourself anywhere but where you wanted to end up.
The most important thing you can do is to determine where you want to eventually go in relation to where you are now. Then develop a series of measurements to monitor your progress along the way. (Think of a roadmap from one place to another with stops along the way for rest and re-evaluation). Its ok to modify your destination from time to time as your needs vary. Things like money, schedules or even changing direction completely as markets dictate happen. The important thing is to remember that you’re in the driver’s seat and in control of your destination. (If you have one)
The bottom Line:
Sooner or later, you’re going to have to surface from your years long dive of your career. Someday, you will have to either close your business, sell it or transition it to new ownership like your kids or your employees. That day may be 3 years, 10 years or even 20 years away, but rest assured, it will most definitely come.
By planning where you want to come up, you can develop a plan to get there. All you have to do now then is follow your plan (roadmap) and you’ll be far more likely to be where you want to be when you eventually decide to surface.