The Difference Between a Dream and a Goal is a Plan
What’s the difference between a business owner and a freelancer?
A freelancer is someone running their business and earning enough to support themselves—and no plan. A business owner is someone with a plan to grow their business. Business owners who want to grow their company tend to do the hard stuff—the stuff that will compel them to grow so that they can grow their business.
They recognize that planning is critical to their goals.
Planning is a Necessary Step for Growth
Many start-up business owners have a passion that ignites their business. But planning, tracking data, and doing the hard stuff has a tendency of diminishing the passion and the fun of the adventure of a start-up business.
But you can’t achieve sustainable business growth without a plan. It’s a necessary step that drives growth. So, how do you plan for business growth?
Start By Working Backwards
A number of studies reveal that reverse planning has many benefits, one of which is it increases the likelihood of success.
Researchers from the University of Iowa and Peking University carried out several experiments with 300 university students. They found that when students used reverse planning, they were more motivated, had higher goal expectancy, and felt less time pressure.
If you want to build a successful business that grows, don’t start from where you are and plan your next step. Rather, plan by projecting your business 10 years into the future and work backwards.
For example, let’s say your business revenue is one million a year. You set a goal that, in 10 years, your business is generating 20 million in revenue a year.
The next step of this process would be to break it down — What do I need to do to get to 20 million dollars?
Using a board, draw out what you think it will take—break down:
- What are the steps to achieve this goal?
- How many products do I need to sell?
- What positions do I need filled in terms of staff?
- What operations need to be in place?
- How would the business structure look like?
Add any other information that is pertinent to your business.
Then do this same process again for 5 years out and 3 and 1 year. Apply what you’ve already learned in getting to one million when doing this planning. Then, before you know it, you’ll be further ahead on your start-up business journey than most.
Based on an excerpt from our BIZ/DEV podcast, Episode 57.