Whether you’re just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey or you’ve been in business a while, knowing where you want to go and the kind of business you want to build are crucial elements to your long-term success. But sometimes we get stuck in the mire of working in our business and we forget – or lose sight of – the bigger picture. We lose sight of our dreams and the visions we had for our businesses and our lives.
February is a great month to get out of the muck and love your business again! Get motivated with these 6 strategies to ensure your business is around for the long-term.
1. Envision Your Future as the Owner of a Successful Business
What do you want your life to be like? Do you want to stress over the business 24/7, or would you rather take carefree vacations? Picture the entrepreneurial lifestyle you envision for yourself. Think about:
- How many days a week do you work?
- What hours do you work?
- How many weeks or months of vacation do you have each year?
- Would you like to take time off for travel? When, where, and how often
- How do you spend your life?
Write it all down and file it someplace – or hang in on your wall where you can look at it. When things change, and you know they will, update your vision for the new situation.
2. Envision Your Company’s Future
What do you really want your business to be? High priced boutique or discount chain? Online or brick and mortar? Local or National? Or international? Whatever it is you want for your business, picture it:
- How many employees do you have?
- How many locations?
- What types of clients do you have and what do they buy?
- How much money does the business make annually?
- What is your company known for? What do people say about it?
Again, write it all down.
3. Analyze Your Product and Service Mix
Are the products you carry or the services you offer going to help you create the business you want? If not, how are you going to change? What will you need: Capital? Expertise? Partners? Staff? Skill? Here are some strategies to consider:
- Expand your product line
- Offer more services
- Reduce your costs – without sacrificing your product
- Change your market
- Change your business model
- Hire the experience, expertise, and skill you need
This is a great time to think about hiring a business coach. Coaches offer an unbiased opinion that can help you figure out your options and the solution that best fits with your vision.
4. Set Goals
One, three, and five year goals keep you on track and make incorporating life’s changes easier. Keeping your personal and business visions in mind, set specific goals that are realistic, yet make you stretch yourself. Remember, increasing revenue by 10% is a goal. Doing more marketing or hiring a sales person is a plan for achieving that goal.
5. Mind the Gap
What is the difference between where you are and where you want to be? How are you going get over that gap? Here are some things to think about. Maybe you’ll need to:
- Add services
- Become extremely specialized
- Find a partner
- Find outside funding
This is another time a business or marketing consultant would be helpful. A consultant can educate you on the positive and negative aspects of however you choose to fill in your gap.
6. Planning & Accountability
OK, so now it’s time to put this in action. Create an action plan and hold yourself to it. And, because bad days happen, have others hold you to your plan; your coach, an accountability buddy, or a mastermind group. The more people who know your goals and support you in them, the easier it is to progress.
You know where you are and where you want to be. You know what it will take to get from here to there. All that is left is to take the steps.
What do you do to ensure you stay on the path toward business success and living the entrepreneurial dream. Share your strategies and maybe you can help another business owner achieve their goals!