Follow these 10 tips to realize your business vision.
1. Identify your vision. Before formulating a plan, take a moment to envision the shape of your business in five years. How do you quantify its success? Consider not just financial wealth but also the size and structure of your company and recognition within the industry. Do you have the resources necessary to fulfill your ambition within a short timespan? Focus on the details of your vision to form realistic objectives and short-term goals.
2. Define your company's objectives. With a goal set, think in specifics about what your company will achieve and how those achievements will be measured. Objectives will reveal whether your company is on track to the ultimate goal and fulfill shareholder expectations. From the successes (and failures) of your objectives, you can gauge where to make adjustments and how to proceed forward. Objectives should be short-term with a set criteria that is attainable and relevant to your business.
3. Think big, work small. Once you've identified the long-term goals and short-term objectives, it's time to focus on the immediate. Put plans into action by breaking your objectives down further into smaller tasks with quicker turnaround. Here is where you tackle the meetings and phone calls that build client lists and networks.
4. Be (more than) your own boss. Building a business from scratch demands a great deal of time and sacrifice. Even the most successful CEOs have to make compromises in both their professional and personal lives. Consider your own personal risks and compromises. How much of your own time and money are you investing? Do you have full support of your family? Could your business venture potentially jeopardize your home life? Can the company survive without you should a personal emergency arise?
5. Manage expectations. Some objectives may not be met. Deadlines will be missed. A dramatic shift in market demand could set your business back several months (or years). Brace yourself for early disappointments, especially if this is your first entrepreneurial endeavour. Scale back or extend timetables of objectives if performance seems lacking.
6. Understand the costs of doing business. If one of your objectives is to pursue higher profit margins, keep your fiscal performance in check with regular assessments of your business expenditures. Know what it realistically costs to run your company while keeping your employees and shareholders happy. It may be necessary to sacrifice one objective in order to meet your fiscal target. Keep in mind that sacrifices may inconvenience or adversely impact employees even if it buoys your bottom line.
7. Be flexible. As your business grows, you may notice an increase in demands of your time and resources. New opportunities or market fluctuations may dictate an adjustment in short-term objectives. Keep your company's goals fluid enough to accommodate new ideas or improvements on existing objectives.
8. Compete, don't compare. When entering any marketplace it's crucial to know your competition, to be familiar with their strengths and weaknesses in order to seize opportunities within the industry. But when it comes to the internal operations, every company is different. Each firm has its own objectives and works at its own pace. Do not compare your company's objectives to those of your rivals.
9. Forget the middle. Focus on the short-term goals. Concentrate on the acheivements you can make six months from now, not the goals you want to accomplish two years from now. New ideas are often the most exciting ideas, but if they aren't part of the current plan, they can prove to be unnecessary distraction from more time-sensitive tasks. If you have an idea for a mid-term objective, make note of it for future pursuits.
10. Make a commitment. If your business is your passion, commit to the journey and prepare to weather the highs and lows of running a successful business. Surround yourself with a dedicated and determined team to help realize the full potential of your enterprise. Be prepared to stick with your business for the long haul—your commitment may prove inspirational to staff and clients alike. When you reach your initial goals, you may find yourself planning for the next five years.