This could mean increasing revenues within the core business, decreasing expenses, making new acquisitions, beginning new startups or conducting mergers. Being in a leadership position, our audience carries the responsibility of what direction the company should ultimately go to keep moving forward. Below are five simple steps to ensure that your company continues on the road to success.
1. Fail to plan, plan to fail. Too often, companies operate on a daily basis, with no real vision of where the company is going. Everyone needs a plan. A football team wants to win the Super Bowl. A movie star wants to win an Oscar. What are you trying to accomplish? Regardless of the size or scope of the plan, until we have one, we are operating with tunnel vision.
2. You are only as good as the people around you. Once you have assembled a plan, whether it is big or small, it is important to look at the people around you to see if they can implement the plan. A football coach needs an offensive and defensive coordinator to carry out the game plan. They, in turn, delegate to their subordinates. A weak link at any level can derail the entire effort.
3. No one is above it all. Once you feel you have the right plan and people in place to implement it, it is time to bounce it off your advisers. We all need advisers with experience, who are not caught up in the day-to-day operations and can offer an objective second opinion. Whether it is a family friend or a board of advisers, get outside advice. It is important that we take the time on the front side to do things right to ensure our success on the backside.
4. Create checks and balances. Once a plan has been established, the team is in place, and the advisers have signed off on it, there must be mechanisms in place that reward the successes or failures. This is very important to measure progress. There is a famous proverb that says, He who gathers money little by little will make it grow. The same thing applies to your business. It is all the little steps that get you where you want to go.
5. Know where are we going and what are we going to do when we get there. Once all of the above has taken place, measure your progress and effectiveness. Decide where you want to go from here. For some, this might mean selling the business and moving on to other challenges. For others, starting the process over with even greater goals for the company will be the answer. Just know what you want to do before you arrive so youre ready when it happens.
The road to success can be a long one, but with proper planning and the right people helping you, the ride will be a smooth one. Enjoy the trip.
Fred Koury (email@example.com) is CEO of SBN.