Defining long-term plans for your business can be very difficult. Especially because they are exactly what it says, long-term. You might be dealing with a lot of things that take your attention, like fixed and variable costs that need your immediate attention. Every once in a while, you might find yourself thinking about the future and what it holds for you and your business. Statistics say that more than 95% of businesses do not make it past their tenth year. It’s safe to say that a business that isn’t planning for the future is most likely not going to have one.
Many business owners see their businesses as just a means of earning a living, which might be a bit shortsighted. But even then, the questions that come to mind in this scenario are:
Are you happy with your job situation?
What things would you want to improve your job?
What position do you see yourself holding in the next 5-10 years?
Do you want to be remembered when you retire and what do you want to be remembered for?
Now looking at these questions, one can see how they could apply to a business. You must have long-term plans to grow in any professional space and the same applies to your business.
1. Working with long-term plans
Identify some plans for business growth: for example
- Increase in size
- Attaining a much larger market share
- Increase in customer base
- Becoming a publicly traded company
2. Be realistic about your plans
You should try as much as possible to set achievable marks for your company, you don’t want to set yourself up for disappointment. Arrange the goals with appropriate timelines. if your business has a customer of 50 you shouldn’t set a goal for 1 million in one year. Study your market and set goals you hope to achieve within a particular time.
3. Discuss with your employees/collaborators and come up strategies
Now that you have a plan, you want to make sure it sees the light of day. A sit down with your stakeholders where you can come up with cogent strategies should be the next course of action.
Research can really help you at this stage. For example, if your plan is to increase your customer base, you could do some research on the overall scope of your market, identify the market shares of your competition and look for something that can give you an edge. Re-branding and a new approach to marketing could be what your business needs in this scenario.
4. Implement them into daily practices
With your strategies in place, you can now start to infuse those details into how you run your business day-to-day. If one of your plans is better customer retention, you could start from better customer service. Once you start implementing those strategies your business will start to take shape for a better future.