Would you ever take a vaction without planning where you were going to go or how you would get there? Probably not. Especially if your trip was something you were looking forward to and wanted to insure went perfectly. After all, how many times do you plan to take this same trip until you get it right?
This summer, my family plans to go sailing in Croatia. It's going to be a wonderful vacation but Crotia is along way away and chatering 2 sail boats is expensive so we've already begun the planning to insure our trip is perfect.
How about the trip you are taking your business on? Are you clear about where you are going and how you will get there? Do you have a well laid out strategy for growing it and being able to run it efficiently when it starts to get bigger and more complicated?
How does vacation planning apply to growing a business?
Growing a business is just like planning your perfect vacation. You have to be focused on the outcome you want and plan every step of the way so when you implement your plan, everything goes as you expect. Here are a few things to think about as you contemplate what kind of business you are growing. (I see this play out quite frequently with coaching clients as they begin to seriously recognize what they need to do)
1. Decide if the destination you seek is the destination you want?
Strange as this sounds, many business owners fall in love with the idea of having a big huge successful business but balk at the things required to achieve it. Once your business size and scope gets beyond you as the sole provider, you now become a business owner first and a practicing lawyer second. Are you willing to oversee staff? Do you have the desire to spend time marketing your business vs. handling court cases? Business growth is great to attain but there are trade offs.
2. Growth requires intention
Seems like a no-brainer, right? You'd be surprised at how many well meaning business owners defer their prowth plans to things outside their control like the economy or the availability of money. Hoping and waitng for better market conditions to boost growth is not a good reliable strategy. If you take the initiative to do what others around you are not, it's like driving on a road to your destination with no other cars around you.
3. Growth means being committed to the journey
Business building almost never happens in the time you think it will. Despite all your well thought out plans, things inevidibly get in the way casuing you to have to reroute in order to get back on course. This takes time so be prepared for a long haul. If you have a finacial plan for staying the course and a revenue plan for continually generating business, you will be fine.
4. Growth means develop the dicipline to stay focused
All too often, you have to navigate obstacles. They come in the form of great new, unrelated opportunities, task distractions or negative people trying to save you from yourself. Once you have a solid growth strategy and plan (one that has been vetted by professionals you trust) figure out how to stay focused on all the main elements of your plan. Simply staying busy is not the same as being productive. You want to insure that all your time and resources are devoted to accomplishing what's important to achieving your growth goals.
5. Align yourself with people who can help you reach your destination
Many of the best and brightest business owners I have known made a priority of meeting and forming relationships with professionals in others business disciplines. They understood that they could not be an expert in everything so having collegaues and advisors available when they needed them was the best way to deal with challenges, set backs and new opportunities to grow. By surrounding yourself with high caliper business people, you can model their behavior and follow their practices. It also keep you away from other people who may be the negative forces you want to avoid.
Growing your business is a journey. The most important journey you will ever take. Your planning, focus, disicpline and support are vitaul to reaching the destination you want and will be excited about. In most cases, you'll only want to take this journey once. Repeated trips to the same destination can be hazardous to your wealth!
About the Author:
Steve Smith is an experienced business and executive coach. He is also the founder and President of GrowthSource Coaching based in Orange County, CA. Steve works individually with business professionals who want to achieve top tier effectiveness in the organizations they run. He writes articles and talks on various radio shows about the effects of leadership, management and marketing as the most important elements of running a successful business. If you would like to have Steve review your business growth strategy, visit his website and request a consult. http://www.growthsourcecoaching.com/business-strategy-assessment.html
about the Author
After a stellar 29 year career in the consumer products manufacturing industry, Steve Smith converted his knowledge and experience into a successful business and executive coaching company. In 2008, he opened GrowthSource Coaching in Orange County, CA