Planning and Building a Sustainable Business

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Building your business and developing yourself are both growth processes that will occur over time. Building a business implies having to develop your skills and/or manage other people who can build the necessary processes to perform necessary business functions. While many people equate success with working, truly successful people attribute their success to having a strategy, setting goals and working smart. In the beginning, you will need to do all of these. And if you do them all,, in the end you will find you have built something that will endure. So, what are your strategy and goals for your business? Have you communicated them to your staff? Are they aware of their roles and responsibilities and how they tie to the goals of your organization?

The value of your business lies not in what it can do with you, but in what it can do without you. If no one else can do what you can do, then you don’t have a business that will endure. You have a business that is restricted by its inability to use its creative juices and expand into something bigger and more successful. Business is and should be a systematic series of processes linked to the overall goals of the organization disciplined to exceed internal and external customer expectations. Each aspect of your business should be process mapped, so that in theory, other people can perform other roles including yours. The functions and processes should be crystallized in writing, so it’s important to document everything! But process isn’t enough. People, make the difference, even if you are a solo-preneur.

When activities can be accomplished by others or the process is systematic, then your creativity can be utilized for continuous improvement, increased sales, improved market share, and new business development. In other words, you working on the business rather than being in the business. Recognizing an opportunity and being in position to take action is one of the keys to success. If you are busy doing, you may be too busy to take advantage of opportunities, and chances are you working harder and not smarter.

The benefits and rewards of planning are many. Planning helps to prioritize your activities. You already know you will be wearing several hats and the functions you will perform under each hat are different. Planning helps you to see beyond the immediate issues and remain focused on the desired outcomes. This will help to ensure that day-to-day activities are in line with your long-range objectives and vision. It will help you avoid getting involved in seemingly endless crises, and even prevent crisis-stimulated activities that seem to be important and necessary but in fact may be neither. With this understanding you are better able to focus your energies on getting where you want to go. A comprehensive plan that includes strategy, structure, process, people and rewards is an important tool you can utilize to build a successful and sustainable business!

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