Welcome to #InspireAfricaProject! While coaching a business leader few days ago in Abuja on Business Management, I told him that many businesses in our clime die along with the owners because they failed to create solid structures that can sustain the business in their absence. Any business that cannot run effectively in the absence of its owner is still a one man business.
Anytime small business owners ask whether they should create a structure for their businesses, I usually ask whether they are accountable to the business. Does your business pay you salary? Are you one of those who collect money from their businesses anytime they feel like? You can start from there.
In case you don’t know, a company is a legal entity that can sue and be sued, and it is completely independent of the founders. So your company is an entity that has a life of its own. You are not your company. The easiest way to separate yourself from your company is to create an automation system. Let’s continue our discussion on eleven ways to grow your business.
9. Have A Long-Term Plan. While speaking at Makurdi (Benue State) last weekend, I encouraged my audience to write their long term plans in form of vision and goals. In fact, I shared with them the simplest way to do it, and I’m glad that majority of them wrote their visions and goals on the spot. We called it vision 2037!
One of the major reasons why business owners in our clime fail to have long term plan is because they established the business to meet their family needs. If all you’re hustling to have are cars, houses, chieftaincy titles, and praises from men at occasions, you will never think long term. You will never think beyond acquiring toys.
Long term planning is the exercise aimed at formulating a strategy to meet future needs estimated usually by extrapolation of present or known needs. It begins with the current status and charts out a path to the projected status, and generally includes a short-term operational or tactical plans for achieving interim goals.
As a business owner, what are you looking forward to in the next 30 years? Can I lay my hands on any document that clearly state what you want to achieve between now and the next 30 years? Will your company remain in existence in the next 30 years? Can your company survive the technological advancements that are changing the way we live and do business? If in the next 10 years people don’t go to markets to purchase things, how would you handle it? Any future plans at all?
The easiest way to have a long term plan is to think strategically. Strategic plans are made to facilitate the small business owners with a road map that helps them identifying and defining where they expect to see their business at future date.
It includes your small business mission statement, your products and marketing strategy, the role of employees in the future growth, monetary performance goals and objectives, additional resources that you will need to reach your goals; and analysis of your small business strengths and weaknesses.
After taking all these into consideration, you will sit down and clearly define the future of your business. Design a roadmap. Create scenarios that will help cushion the effect of changes that can disrupt your business in the future.
For example, Royal Dutch Shell has over six hundred scenarios planned to handle any future eventualities. If tsunami erupts in any nation where they are drilling and shipping oil, Shell has an already designed plan to handle it. If there is crises in the Middle East, Shell has an already designed strategy to handle it within 24 hours. Your ability to strategize on how to handle any challenge before they even show up is the hallmark of great leadership.
Your long term strategy should consist of future expansion plans. Any company that wants to go global have five options. Either you go into partnership with a bigger company, or you acquire bigger companies and leverage on their national or international spread, or you sell your company to raise money for expansion or take it to the stock market for IPO, or expand through franchise. Order for my book; The Entrepreneur to gain deeper insight on this subject.
10. Develop Strong Work Ethic. I believe that the only substitute to hard work is hard life! If you truly want to grow your business, you must roll up your sleeve and work very hard. The harder you work, the higher you fly. The lazier you are, the more difficult things become. Every lazy person is doomed in this life.
If you want your business to grow, you must develop a rigid work ethic. The Protestant work ethic is often credited with helping to define the societies of Northern Europe, such as Scandinavia, Latvia, Estonia, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland.
Germanic immigrants brought their work ethic to the United States of America. It is common for those in a Protestant work culture to skip lunch (traditionally being sustained from a large breakfast) or to eat lunch while doing their job. This is in contrast to other cultures which practice siesta at lunch time, or go for one or two hours lunch.
I carefully studied successful people for many years. I found out that one of their major secrets is hard work. They don’t accommodate jesters and time wasters. They live an organized lifestyle that does not give room for unnecessary discussions and gossips. They are focused and totally dedicated to their assignments.
In fact, some of them work for many hours daily, yet they have time for their families and few social engagements. To grow your business you must develop rigid work ethic. Before you go to bed at night, write down the top seven or more things you will do the following day according to the order of their value. Don’t ever face number two task until you finish number one. It simply means that your number one task for the day should be the most important assignment that will guarantee a huge return.
Don’t go for endless meetings. Every engagement, ranging from meetings, phone calls, passing instructions to staff, negotiations and every other assignment must be timed and executed without distractions. I practically live like a monk. Why? Because to make your life count you must learn how to mind your business. The most important day of your life is called, today! Don’t joke with today.
Sam Ewing said, “Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” Colin Powell opined, “A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” Abraham Lincoln sums up today’s discussion this way, “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” I want to encourage you to sign up for further training on how to grow your business. Call Godwin on 07032681154, or visit www.kingsuncommonwisdom.com. See you at the top!
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