“We Have Sales Coming In, But We Don’t Have A Clear And Focused Growth Plan To
Achieve A $5 Million Revenue Goal” (Lesson 1)

I believe that whenever you want to go somewhere you first need to have a clear goal in mind. Let’s say you want to go to New York City. This is your goal. Then, you need to create a plan to reach that goal. Where is New York City and how far away is it from you? How long will you go for, and where will you stay? And, finally, you have to figure out the tactics you’ll use to achieve your goal. Will you drive or fly to New York City? Without any of these pieces in place, you may not reach your goal.

As a business owner, if you haven’t got a clear and focused plan to achieve your goal, even if you have sales coming in, chances are you’re not using all of the resources you could to take your company to the next level. It also indicates a lack of strategy and applying the right tactics. Without a plan, you’re keeping yourself on the treadmill, only without a personal trainer by your side.

Always Putting Out Fires?

If your company doesn’t have a clear growth plan, you likely have random processes or systems in place. You and your team are always fighting fires, and as the business owner, you are always trying to be the hero.

Your business is at risk of being pulled in many directions as well. Without a clear plan or strategy, it’s easy to become reactive to the market. This might look like chasing the newest “shiny object” or selling too many different products to your current customers, as opposed to selling a focused set of products to more new customers.  

When you start doing that, you’ve started moving away from your core competency. This quickly leads to having too many balls in the air, and instead of doing one thing well, now you’re playing a fool’s game by trying to be all things to all people. When you’ve stopped understanding what your customers want and, worse, stopped filling that need, you’ve only set yourself up for decreased sales and ultimately a lack of growth. 

Without a clear plan for growth, how can you be sure you’re hiring the right staff? Or hiring at the right time? If you don’t have a solid plan in place for your labor, you are just being inefficient with your labor and potentially other resources.

Getting into a situation where you either need to take on debt or seek investors to get capital is another indication that you do not have a clear growth plan prepared. You may feel like you have to take on debt to grow, but that’s not necessarily true. By failing to make a clear plan, you’re suddenly looking at the possibility of taking on debt to reach the $5 million goal because, after all, you have to spend money to make money. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Grow

I know that, as a business owner, you’re concerned about what’s in front of you today and you don’t always take the time to think about the future. It always feels so much better to just fix the problems that exist right in front of you, as opposed to sitting in your office and taking a proactive approach to your business, anticipating the problems you may have and setting yourself up so you can avoid experiencing those problems.

Have you thought about what it means to grow? How do you feel about it? If you’re scared to grow, you will avoid making a plan. Are you afraid of losing yourself in the company if it grows bigger?