Where the #@$%&! are we going? Do we have a plan?
Dave has had years of experience in military operations and is now in the business of developing systems to distribute fuel to the military. He provides strategy for new systems for energy distribution where systems have not existed before.
Consequently, much of his work has been a work in progress: …fixing it as he goes, developing processes, dealing with challenges, keeping all the balls in the air, and making changes along the way to make sure that his customers are well served. He is challenged to get to know which subcontractors can do what, and how to get their assistance. Guess what he didn’t have time to do? … Determine a long-term strategy for his own business. He didn’t have a plan.
Last May, Dave came up with a new business goal:
By July 1st 2017, I will formulate a strategic plan for my business that will provide clarity regarding my five-year goals. It will include clarity regarding:
- who my customers are, what they need, and how I will best serve them
- my evolving personal role in the business
- cash flow and margin projections
- the staff and subcontractors needed
- an exit strategy for the sale of the business
Over the next month he developed an action plan to achieve his stated objectives over the next 5 years.
What did Dave give up while developing his plan? The time he usually spent on day-to-day operations. He had to delegate and defer some things in order to work his overall strategy, which was even more important to him in the long term.
What can you gain by developing a plan? Direction for the company, more time to spend on strategic planning, and opportunity to plan for potential problems.
What is Dave getting back? Direction for the business, functioning areas within his business that are managed (owned) by specific staff contributors, time to spend on strategic planning, and the opportunity to anticipate and prevent down the road problems.
Take steps to develop a plan for your business.