Think about where it is you want to be (and why), and how you’re going to get there. If you think of “goals” as destinations, then you’ll see the value in having a road map. With quantifiable objectives, a business owner can measure success and make specific determinations about what needs to change. Goals are always evolving as business expands. The very best, (and sometimes the biggest), raise standards on an ongoing basis. This is why they stand out, but sometimes plans do not work out the way we expect them to.
Run the Business like it’s the Worst of Times
The economy has peaks and valleys. By relishing in the good times without putting time and money aside for the bad, business owners do a great disservice to the longevity of their company’s success and the people working for them. I always tell people to plan for their business as though it’s the best of times and the worst of times because, as we experienced with the most recent economic downturn, the bad times can be crippling. Planning for both scenarios from the inception of your business prepares you for the future, by setting and working towards long term goals and maximizing its day to day efficiencies.
Just because the money keeps rolling in doesn’t mean you should spend it. Good times are fun times, but they are never permanent. Think about this before making short term decisions on new expenditures (do you really need them?) or expanding into unfamiliar markets (are you ready to?). Manage the excess funds and research business objectives thoroughly and make the investment when it is supported by hard data and some gut feel.
Have a Plan
When revenue becomes inconsistent and your company begins to struggle, you will be equipped, if you’ve already done the homework and know the best course of action to take. With money in the bank and a thorough best case/worst case plan to reference, you will avoid making rash decisions based on panic. Have the tools you need in hand to simplify the hard-to-make decisions.