Yesterday I got together for my regular meeting with fellow small business owners. We all run different types of business, which is what makes it so good, as it really forces each of us to ‘sell’ what we do and justify the time we spend on each of out projects.
Yesterday we reviewed our business goals and plans – not just for the coming year, but for the next 5 years. It’s not always easy to think about what you want that far ahead, but if we don’t have a sense of direction it’s a safe bet we’ll end up somewhere less perfect than we might like.
When was the last time you reviewed your long term goals and what you want from you business in 5, or even 10 years from now? Unless you want to be working in it until the day you die you need an exit strategy and some idea of how you are going to get there.
If you’ve never done this I would urge you to. And then ensure your business plan points in the right direction. When I talk about business plan, I mean the one you have for your reference, not the plan prepared for the bank or other third parties – this is the working document, which you refer to (and update if necessary) on a regular basis.
You can find the format I use here – ‘Six Simple Steps to Build your Business Plan’, which starts with your long term vision and brings you back to identify short term actions to get you there.
And if you never get to talk about your plans with others, I would urge you to go this too – it’s amazing what other people can see that is right under your nose!