Over and over again 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. They are left with little to no time to address the things that do. Time and again I find that there’s no long term plan or goal. They just keep working harder and think things will just work themselves out. But they rarely do.
I was speaking with a friend of mine, a former Navy S.E.A.L. about what I’ve seen. He told me of a saying the teams used about the importance of always having a plan. “Plan the dive. Dive the plan” he said. “If we swim faster, deeper or further than the plan, we surface somewhere different than we intended to.” That statement helped me communicate the importance of having a plan in business. Growing and advertising without a plan is a sure way to find yourself anywhere but where you thought you’d end up.
The most important thing you can do is establish where you want to 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, working less or changing direction completely as markets dictate happen. The important thing is that you’re in in the driver’s seat and in control of your destination.
The bottom Line:
Sooner or later, you’re going to either scale your company, sell it or transition it to new ownership like your kids or your employees. That day may be 3 years, 10 years or 20 years away, but it will come. By planning where you want end up and working that plan to get there, you are far more likely to end up where you want to.