When I ask business owners what their business will look like in a year, 5 years or even 10 years time I am often told they do not know – after all they are not a seer and don’t have a crystal ball.
This is a cop out in my opinion – and a dangerous one at that.
If you don’t have a plan of where your business is going, who will have? If you do not have a clear vision of what you want your business to look like, who does?
Clearly there are lots of things we, as business owners, have little control over: the general economy; the banks’ perception of business risk; how our competitors and our customers behave, to name but a few. But this does not mean that we have no control over our own business success.
In helping business owners to plan for the future I have found they become much more focused on what they want to achieve. They suddenly have a picture of what they need to do to get where they want to go and are motivated to get there. In some cases they are even reminded of the passion that drove them to start the business in the first place – something which is often lost in the day-to-day stresses of life.
They do not need to know for certain every detail of how their business will grow in the years ahead, but they do need a clear set of targets which, if achieved, will deliver a business which is successful in their terms. These targets will often revolve around sales achieved, new customers found , profits made, business owner earnings…
The picture they draw may become enhanced over time but will not change in essentials.
So, if you want to feel confident about the years ahead paint your own picture of your dreams for your business. Populate it with the subtle colours that will make your business shine. Then stand back and make sure you are happy to hang that picture on your wall for the long term.