Start with the end in Mind
As a business mentor, I have found myself especially busy in this time of economic uncertainty and crisis. Many of you are coming to me because you are going to work not knowing whether or not you are going to have a job at the end of the day. Therefore, you are turning your thoughts to starting you own business.
My clients start looking at different prospects, find one, and jump in with both feet. However, they make one very big mistake. They don’t think about the big picture, and that is why a lot of small businesses fail before they really get off the ground.
There are three things that a business owner needs in order to have a successful business, and these are the three secrets of a successful business.
1) Long term vision
The first thing that I tell clients that is essential for a successful business is to figure out what the long term business vision is going to be. It’s all well and good to make a decision about what kind of business you are going to have, but then what? What comes after that? Where do you see your business going in a year, five years, a decade? If you have no business vision, then there is no clear path in front of you.
The second important thing that I coach clients about is that they need for a successful business are goals. You need to have business goals so that you know where your business is going and where it has been. The goals need to be both for the short term and the long term, and these business goals are what are going to help you keep going and have a sense of accomplishment. The goals should be sales goals, staff goals, and overall goals for the business. Business goals help to keep you on track and help you to keep focused on your business, and help it to be a successful business.
3) Exit Plan
The final essential part of a successful business is that you need to know what you want for the future of the business. In other words, you need a business exit plan. Are you going to expand it? Do you want to eventually sell it? Are you going to leave it to your children? Even though this is something that may change with the times, you need to know what your ultimate goal will be for your business. Whether the business is kept in the family, it’s kept small and private, it’s expanded, or it’s one day sold, having an exit plan will help you keep your focus on your business and make you want it to succeed.
In conclusion, I tell my clients that a business that has no vision, goals or exit plan is like a driver who is going along without a roadmap or street signs. They don’t know where they are going, they don’t know how long it will take to get there, and they don’t know where they should get off, so they waste a lot of time and money driving around in circles without any idea of where they are.
Too many businesses fail because they lack the three things that are listed above: a vision, goals, and an exit plan. Before you can be a successful business owner, you have to have a plan for your business, and that plan will help your business from becoming lost. The vision, the goals, and the exit plan are the roadmap and road signs for your business, and they will keep you on the right road.