Does Dreaming of Business Success Work?
My answer to this question is ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
That may seem like I’m hedging my bets, but I believe it is true.
In the beginning stages of a business – the ugly start-up – it is your dreams that sustain you. Your business dreams become your beacon, your fuel through the long hours, the frustration and the low points.
And if your dream is big enough, juicy enough and crazy enough that others are attracted to share your dream, you are well on your way to achieve business success.
But at some point in that journey, the rubber needs to hit the road. In other words, reality has to set in. Another type of work has to begin and support your business dreams.
This means business owners need to stop sabotaging their dreams with unrealistic or vague goals. Goals like:
- More customers
- More revenues
- Double or triple sales in a year
- Open another location in the future
Everyone wants ‘more customers’ and ‘more revenues’. Who doesn’t?
The come-back-to-earth question is how much ‘more’ do you want?
How many ‘more’ customers are you capable of handling without risking it all?
Dreaming of your business as more successful doesn’t make it so.
I would never discourage you or any business owner from reaching for the stars and having big goals for their business. As strongly, I would also encourage you to know if you need an airplane, a jet or a space rocket to reach your stars.
Planning to Achieve Business Success
‘Work’ is not just about the hours, the sweat and the effort you put into your business. It is also about the boring, thoughtful planning of your business.
If you have an aggressive dream of doubling or tripling your sales then you need an aggressive plan to realize that goal.
And by ‘plan’, I am not referring to a very long To Do List. I’m referring to a hard look at the infrastructure of your business. Things like:
- product offerings
- systems and automation tools
- geographic scope of your business
- marketing efforts
Every one of these pieces and many more could dramatically help or hinder your abilities to reach your business success goals.
How to Plan for Business Success?
Stephen Convey suggested:
Begin with the end in mind.
Begin with your big and crazy goal and sketch it out backwards.
Get out a spreadsheet or a piece of paper. Across the top write down what a doubling of your sales in 3 years means in total sales in Year 3, in Year 2 and in Year 1.
Down the side, write down all of the internal and external resources need to reach these sales goals (e.g. staffing, space, vendors, etc.).
Now, ask yourself all of the tough questions.
How will your company have to change in order to achieve this goal?
As a solo-entrepreneur, how much more sales can you handle realistically? How many more people will you need to do the sales you want to achieve in Years 1, 2, and 3?
How will these changes impact your customers?
How much more space will you need in Years 1, 2 and 3? Do you need to expand or shrink your facilities? When and by how much?
What about your products? Can your current vendors provide you with the volume you will need in Years 1, 2 and 3? Could they adapt and expand with you or will you need another vendor?
Will you need to diversify your products to achieve that desired level of sales?
Lift up the hood on your business and tear the engine apart. Look at everything and ask how that piece will impact your abilities to achieve your goals…your dreams.
Armed with a plan, you’ll now know what it will take and when. You’ll also be able to measure your progress and understand what pieces you need to put into place to turn your business dreams into reality.
One More Important Step
Being a business owner is deeply personal. It is for me and it is probably true for you. It’s not like having a job.
Your business is or should be a direct reflection of who you are as an individual and what you want to present in this world. So, it is important you understand the personal price tags associated with your big business dreams. At different stages of your life, you’ll be willing to spend more for your business while at other stages, less.
While you’re analyzing all of the aspects of your business dreams and what it will take to achieve, take some time to step back and ask:
Now, that I see what this business needs to become to reach this goal is ‘this’ what I really want to create? Or, do I want something bigger or something smaller?
How will these changes in my business change me? Will I have the time I want or need to do other things outside of the business? Or, these changes will require me to stretch in ways that will be challenging but I am excited to try.
Do I still want ‘this’ dream or do I want another?
What dreams do you have for your business?
Do you have a plan in place to make these dreams a reality?
If not, what’s stopping you?
Want help? Send me your questions. I’m happy to help you achieve your business dreams.