One of the most common things that always seems to be missing from the small business philosophy to ensure their success, is where they are actually going.
The business owner tends to get focused on a great idea, and then charges headlong into making it happen without any real thought. Not really addressing where they really want to end up and by when. They may have some vague cloudy idea of where they want but really, there is no clarity.
Here is an idea that may help you get clear on where you want your business to end up and what you want your business to do for you.
Imagine that there are four doors in front of you. Each represents a possible choice for the direction of your business. The reason we’re using doors in this analogy rather than just choices is because when people have a number of choices put in front of them and they tend to choose a bit of one and a bit of another.
The secret with this is choosing one direction and one direction only, walking through the door and closing it behind you. Cutting off any possibility of going down the road of the other three choices.
The first door represents the franchise or replication model. With this model your focus is setting up the business with a set of established and proven systems and procedures, so that the business model can be copied or reproduced over and over. This doesn't necessarily mean that you franchise, it simply means that you want to copy that business model, you may want to open another office or shop front , for example.
Second door represents the sell model. You choose this model obviously, if you are building the business to sell to another interested party, for maximum financial return.
The third door represents the lifestyle model. The end result of this choice is having a business that works completely autonomously, with little to no input and effort from the owner. The business pays for and gives the freedom to the owner to enjoy the lifestyle; the business owner chooses to lead.
The fourth door is the improvement model. There are a number of people who really love what they do and want to stay working in the business. So this choice focuses them on all of the things that need to be done to build the business into a more profitable business and eliminate as much of the distress and un-enjoyable activities as possible from the business.
Having said earlier, walking through a door cuts off the possibility of any other choice, what is really being said there is, that it cuts off the possibility of any other choice for a specific period of time. For example, you may have chosen door one and decided to open multiple offices or outlets, and the timeline for doing this may be 24 months. When you have either achieved or are very close to achieving that outcome, you may want to then choose a different door. For example, you may want to choose door number two the sell door.
The main point of this philosophy is, if you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there.
Each of the four doors or choices have common activities that will need to be done, no matter what. Such as creating systems and procedures, and so on. But there also activities, and things that need to be done that are exclusive to each of the individual choices, and choosing just one gets you focused on exactly what needs to be done to achieve your goal, rather than being distracted by a bunch of things that don't really need to be done for that particular outcome.
So in an attempt to keep your options open you end up with no options.
At the very least, I encourage you to map out these options, write the pro’s and con’s and see which of these float your boat!