Starting a business is the easy part, sustaining it and establishing long term sustainability is the most harrowing aspect of it all. Although equipped with long term objectives, entrepreneurs tend to lack feasible long term plans for their businesses, having been wrapped up in the nitty-gritties of their day to day life. A business goes through many stages of transformation – from partnerships, purchasing, launching new practices, upgrading, expanding office space and sales, one needs to keep careful track of all these transformations in order to manage resources and manipulate future actions to the benefit of a company.
While siting down to a proper planning session for the next few years and drawing up a strategic plan would seem a little too tedious and senseless at present, doing so would ensure that you would have a lucid understanding of your business’s long term path thereby making it easier to steer it down the right path. So entangle yourself from the daily trials and tribulations, take some time off to sit and really look at the future with open eyes and an open mind.
- Where are you now?
What is the status you have achieved now? What are the significant things you have achieved up to this point? What were your initial plans for the business when you first launched it at this specific point of time? have you achieved those goals?
Gather the information for a proper quantitative and qualitative analysis. Total income, marketshare, total profit and etc as well as Facebook likes, Twitter and Instagram mentions can be taken as means of measuring the business and where it is now. Map out the key growth milestones as of yet and measure it against what is yet to be achieved. What is yet to be achieved can be placed aside for future milestone planning.
- Where do you want to be in another year?
One year at a time. List down your priorities and list down what can be achieved within the next year. Be specific and be thorough. Set out realistic timelines and strategic plan for each objective as well as the resources needed to go through with it.
- Identify a team of advisors
It is very well to rise up on your own two feet but as much as this seems appealing, you simply cannot do it alone. One cannot be a Jack of all Trades and therefore you need experts on each field that you are not very familiar with to guide you and support you. Surround yourself with people who are experienced in their industries, those who can provide you with constructive criticism and guide you down your path. Plan a core group – initially this can be a bank, a legal advisor, an accountant and an insurance personnel. As time goes on you can expand this group as per the requirements of your business.
- Identify your problems. Plan out the solutions.
What are the problems that you see yourself encountering within the next couple of years? Do you see yourself being capable of providing solutions for those issues? Do you have the resources? If not what resources do you need to counteract against these issues? List down every possible issue and next, work on finding a solution. Along with that, list down the resources you will need to achieve these solutions and work on how to obtain those resources within the next few years. Planning is everything.
- Roll out the timelines
Whether it be achieving a specific business goal, solving a problem or launching an upgrade, you need to have a timeline. A realistic timeline will give you an idea about the amount of time you need to achieve a certain task. While it will also help you plan out your activities, it will also help you realize the sensible order in which certain steps need to be taken to achieve the very best for your business.(image courtesy: infrahutamasolusindo, hqsocialmedia.)