Where are you heading?

Dr. Martin Luther King at a press conference.

Dr. Martin Luther King had a vision although he called it a dream.

Several things this morning have prompted me to think about tips for business start ups. In almost 21 years in business I have loads (I must get around to writing that book!) but the one thing I wish someone had said to me when I started out would be to have a long term vision.

What kind of business do you want to run? Do you want a micro business that will stay small and locally focused? Do you want a business that will employ lots of people? How long do you want to be a major player in the business? Do you aspire to global domination?

Understanding where you are heading will allow you to plan a route to get there, to take decisions in line with your ultimate goal and to take incremental steps in the right direction.

Your present circumstances may mean that it will take you years to achieve your ultimate vision. You might be starting a business because you can’t get a job and lack of cash may limit your choices. You could be starting out in order to work around your family in which case you may need the children to grow up before you can really achieve your vision. You may be running a business to make extra cash alongside a full time job in the hope that one day you’ll be able to make it a full time enterprise. It really doesn’t matter what circumstances you are in now but having a long term vision will allow you to develop a strategy and an implementation plan to get there in the timescale of your choosing.

When I started my business I had short term goals which I achieved. However my goals were all to do with the amount of work I wanted to do and the income I wanted to make. These goals led me to saying yes to anything that was interesting, legal and profitable. The result is that I have my fingers in many pies, have a wide skill set and an offer which can be difficult to explain or understand. Had I had a clearer idea of where I was heading I should have said no to some offers and had a more strategic view of the opportunities I was looking for. I now have a vision for the future of my business but the habit of saying yes to anything interesting is a hard one to give up and I need to be more ruthless in the pursuit of my ultimate goal. I have two more years before my youngest child should leave school so that is two years to get really focused on my direction and to learn to say no to those things that are not in line with that vision. Wish me luck.

If you need help to develop a vision for your business get in touch. Helping you to grow your business is entirely in line with my ultimate goal and I would love your views on some of my plans. I look forward to hearing from you.

Why not use the comment button to share your vision?

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