Creating a strong competitive advantage in the marketplace requires you to focus on what’s happening today that can be improved. But you should also take time to look into the future. Many times people look back on their professional and personal lives and think, “I wish I had done this,” or, “If only I had implemented that idea sooner.” In fact, making good decisions is easy when you look back on the situation and have all the facts. But you can apply that same philosophy to the decisions you make now and in the future. You can project into the future of your business so that when you arrive there you won’t have to look back with regret or wish you’d made better decisions. In other words, mentally position yourself in the successful future of your business.
Pull out a clean sheet of paper or your personal journal and consider what must happen in the future for you to be happy with the results you’re achieving. In the next year, what has to happen in your business? What will excite you about your organization? What about the next three years, and the next ten years? For each interval of time what will have to transpire? What actions will you have to take? Write these things, whatever they are, in your journal and consider them on a regular basis.
Next, take it a step further. Break your organization down into manageable parts and consider each one individually. For example, you could break your business into sales and marketing, products and services you deliver, the reputation you have in your industry, personnel, and administration. What has to happen over the next year for you to be happy with each of these areas? Think about each part of your business for the next three years and ten years as well. By looking at your business in this way, you will discover specific ideas and actions to work into your strategic plan.
The events and actions you identify for this exercise will tell you where you need to focus your time and your energy to maintain a competitive advantage in the future. This list can serve as your motivator. In other words, if this is what it will take for you to be happy, then you better take action and make it happen.
Spend time on this exercise, and you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz!