Proven Business Goal Management Tool
Every business owner has the constant daily challenge of staying on task, completion and prioritizing. Here are three practices that will improve these must have skills.
#1 Long Term Vision
This first step is critical as it impacts whether you will ever see your goals come to fruition. If you have clear long term vision all of your hard work will retain it’s value and you won’t get burned out. If you do not have a clear vision and a clear exit strategy then every detail of what you are doing will suffer. You may ask, “exit strategy”? Aren’t I in business for the long haul? Maybe, but regardless of how long you want to be at the helm of your business, every smart business owner has an exit strategy. Your exit strategy could be to apprentice your children into taking it over. It may be to build it up and sell it for retirement. It could be to structure it to place people over it. Whatever you choose as an exit strategy, the point is to choose one and plan ahead for it. If you are aimlessly working endlessly with no clear goals in site you will find yourself becoming listless and with less growth then expected with no clear options available.
Personal Brainstorm Session
After being reminded of the incredible importance of have a clear long term vision for your business – now it’s time for some fun. Kick back, get comfortable, cuddle up to a nice cup of Jo and dream. Dream about how your business would look 10 years down the road if everything goes well. Dream about elements that really spark your passion. If you were able to mold and shape it into dreams what would it look like?
Sketch out a personal brainstorm. Take a large notebook and draw images, words, ideas, concepts, thoughts. Don’t worry about structure or what it looks like. Begin to see patterns and make associations with these thoughts. Add some details and make some relational network connections. A big, long term picture will begin to take form before your eyes as you highlight important elements and label areas. Be sure to mix in the elements that you are truly passionate about. What accomplishments through your business would really make you satisfied? Write those down on your brainstorm sheet.
When this personal brainstorm dream session is all done you should have a much clearer idea of where you want the ship to be steered toward. There will be technical elements and details that aren’t filled in but that’s OK. As long as the long term picture is clear, the fuzzy details will be worked out by your team.
Now you have something to work with.
#2 Goal to Grain Roadmap
After your Personal Brainstorm Dream Session is complete you need to prioritize and start to map out a technique for obtaining these high and lofty dreams of yours. First, write down three income segments; your Cash Cow, your Nice to Increase and your Investment Department. Let’s break this down;
Cash Cow – this is where your company currently makes most of it’s income. This is critical for keeping your business running. You can’t neglect this segment for the sake of running after your dreams. This segment should not be neglected but improve. Your companies Cash Cow may be a product or service that frankly bores you because you provide or perform this so much. But this segment, if conducted well, can become the financier for your long term goals. You can leverage the income that flows in from this business segment to fuel your dreams. Improve this segment and over time this will be the result.
Nice to Increase – this segment consists of products or services that you don’t get much business from but has potential. You haven’t focused primary attention on this segment before but you have a hunch this could open up a second cash cow for you. This is worth pursuing. It could become profitable. It’s always wise to have more then one cash cow segment in any business. If one cash cow dies due to a market shift then you have a backup and you won’t go out of business. In addition, this becomes more income to fuel your long term goals.
Investment Department – this is where Visions Become Reality! As you leverage your profit from your cash cow segments you will be able to invest in your long term goals. Every new shift in your product or service offering typically takes an initial investment of time and money to launch. This is what this department is for. Planning out phases for this launch plan is wise. Even if you don’t have the funds available right now, if you plan phases and next steps when the funds become available they won’t get wasted but will be invested.
The Goal to Grain Roadmap
This road map starts with the end goal. It then moves back progressively in time until it reaches your current day. For example, set the end date to ten years from today. Write down the key elements of your business goals and objectives. Then move back to only five years from today. What elements would need to be in place at that point in time in order to achieve the ten year goals? Write those down. Move it back 2 years. What goals would have to be accomplished in three years from now in order to obtain the five year goals? Write those down. Progressively as you get closer to your current time more details need to be filled in. Once you have this road map outlined you will be enabled to start putting the pieces closest to you together. This is when you need to start building your team, delegating sections, seeking out vendors to fill in the blanks and find good advice on how best to accomplish your next steps.
The Goal to Grain Roadmap is how we approach all of our Clients and all of the services we offer. If you would like help putting one together for your company contact us.
#3 Strategic Scheduling
Now we get into the details of how to accomplish the goals you have mapped out. Every business owner struggles with balancing their schedule. Now that you have a clear target it will become easier to schedule your time. Consider your typical work week. Plan that the majority of your time will go to running your business and keeping your Cash Cows happy. This should become about 80% of your time instead of 100%. Now 10% should include working on increasing your secondary cash cow. The final 10% of your time needs to allocated to your new Investment Department. This can equate into your own labor time, R&D time, meeting time with consultants and so on. Decide on your weekly calendar what time block you are going to use for this important investment on obtaining your goals. If you work a 50 hour work week for example, then block out 5 hours during the slowest part of your week for this slot. Make sure everyone knows your are unavailable for regular business during that time. Each week, write out the next step that needs to be accomplished for your new Investment Department. That can look like a meeting, time researching online, working on a business or marketing plan or actually building the new product or service.
This will shift your fogging thoughts and dreams into sizable obtainable pieces. You will have a new comfort knowing that your business is not suffering because you are trying to take on too much. Your regular business will improve because it has a new purpose that it plays into. And, best of all, each week you will be working toward your dreams. A fresh, energetic passion will remind you why you are an Entrepreneur!
These techniques are proven. They really do work and we would love to help you – call us to get started! We specialize in goal identification, long term strategy and creating realistic paths to get there.