Don’t Leave Your Business Up To the Lottery

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The lottery was up to $90 million this past week and I bought a ticket.  It was just a dollar.  I immediately started calculating in my head that the total cash payout, after tax, would be about $42 million, still enough for a nice holiday.  Then the balance of the calculations began.  I could give $5 million to each child, $2 million to various charities.  And, I’d still have $20 million left to share with my wife.

But it didn’t stop there.  I tinkered with the numbers and came up with a way to give $1 million to each of our siblings and still have $20 million for us.  Then I started thinking about how I would invest the money and how much I would spend in the foreseeable future.

Wow, all that thinking and fun for only one dollar.  Then it hit me.  I just spent all that time thinking about how to divide, spend, and invest a bunch of money that was probably not going to be mine.  What kind of results would I receive if I spent that amount of time strategically thinking about my business?

When you look at your business think about two things:

1. Where are you now?
2. Where do you want to be in one, three and five years?

This is the strategic thinking that most small business owners fail to take the time to complete.  It’s not that complex, but it sure is important.

If you know in detail where your company is now, what is working and what isn’t, and you have a clear picture of where you want your organization to be in those three time frames then the only thing you have to do to achieve your success is to close that gap.  How you close that gap becomes the tactical elements of your plan. The strategic part is the “what” you want to accomplish.  The tactical part is the “how” you’re going to do it.

Make a list of everything that needs to be done in order to achieve your goals.  There will be daily tasks, weekly tasks, monthly tasks, quarterly tasks and annual tasks.  Revisiting your strategic plan should happen annually, while monitoring your progress on your plan could be a weekly task.

Fully detail your strengths and weaknesses.  Define what you are best at as an individual and what you would be best at out sourcing to others.  Then take your list of things that you need to do to close that gap and assign each one to the person on your team who has the best opportunity of completing it.

Think about planning both strategically and tactically.  Ultimately we are accountable to both plan and then execute on those plans.  Accountability counts!

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