June 21, 2013

If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, You’ll Never Get There

published this at 7:43 am

By Jennifer Dunn

Where is your business headed in 40 years? Yes, that question probably sounds ridiculous to you right now. Youíre busy trying to survive another year, month, week or day, or even attempting to get your business off the ground in the first place. At what point are you supposed to think about 40 years in the future?

Honestly, you should be thinking about the future, because it will be here at some point. While you may not have to specifically worry about 40 years ahead, you should be considering where you want your business to be. If not, it could lead to some pretty bad situations for you that could lead to the demise of your business.

If you donít have a plan for your company, itís like itís a plane without a destination Ė you can fly high for a while, but at some point you have to come down. If you donít know where that is, you could be in for a rough landing.

Goals and Vision

Everyone has a vision for their business as well as a reason for getting into business in the first place. This reason could be absolutely anything Ė you wanted to spend more time with your family, or had a great idea for a product, or wanted to escape the rat race. It could even be to prove to yourself you could do it.

There is no wrong or right answer here. Your reasons are your own. The point is you have to honor those reasons and your vision for your company. If you donít, you could end up with a monster you can’t control.

For example, letís say you wanted to never compromise your product line as you believe it can change the world. Itís a lofty goal, but a great one nonetheless. Now letís say you have an opportunity to sell your company to a bigger company. At some point you may realize the big conglomerate wants to change your product. Now you have a big problem Ė do you choose the money or the reason you went into business in the first place?

Find Your Destination

While this initially may not seem like such a big deal, eventually moving away from your original goals could lead to a point where you abandon your business. If you struck out on your own to spend more time with your family but you let your company get so big that you no longer have no time for them, youíve defeated the entire purpose of starting your company.

This is why itís important to look toward a destination for your company. If you have a place in mind for your company to land, you can make better decisions that will keep you happy and invested in your business. Even if something unexpected pops up youíll be able to handle it with ease as you know where you want to end up.

Keep in mind this destination and your goals may change. You may start out wanting to make a ton of money and get rich but switch it later on to just being comfortable and being happy working on your own. Again, thereís no wrong or right answer Ė just make sure itís what you want for your business and yourself!

Where are you heading?

Author’s Bio: Jennifer Escalona Dunn is the owner of Social Street Media where she writes about small business, tech and finance for sites like WePay and Outright. You can find her on Twitter @jennescalona.

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