- Successful business owners never take their eye off the ball or ignore potential threats that could be coming down the pike.
- Relentless focus and continuous growth are essential to long-term business success.
- Make sure you take time every quarter to get out of the office and work on your business, not just in the business.
- Keep clarifying your vision for the future, and get everyone on your team on board. Organizations like Strategic Coach®, YPO and Vistage can help.
Early in my career, I knew three gentlemen who had a reasonably successful 80-year-old business. But they weren’t content with its growth, so they started to diversify into real estate and didn’t pay attention to their core business. Nine months later, they had to slash their prices to a fraction of what they once were, and ended up selling their business for just 10 cents on the dollar. It’s a really sad story, but it shows how quickly creative destruction can take place in your business if you’re not careful.
Businesses are tough to run. Only a small number last even three years, and if you’re going to run a business successfully, you have to achieve continuous growth. You need to have an evolving vision of the future, and to do that, you have to work on the business on a consistent basis. You can’t ever put it on autopilot.
If nothing else, you need to spend at least one full day every quarter away from the office, just working on your business rather than in the business. You need to be doing the following:
- Thinking about the ideal future for your business.
- Figuring out how to really transform your business.
- Devising a strategy for significant growth.
- Clarifying your vision for the future.
- Getting everybody on your team on board with your vision.
So how do you take those important steps? For starters, look at today’s innovative, large companies — Google, Amazon and various Elon Musk ventures, including SpaceX, SolarCities, Hyperloop and Tesla. You can see they’re constantly transforming their businesses, and so can you.
Help for entrepreneurs
For help, consider Dan Sullivan’s Strategic Coach® program, which has about 3,000 entrepreneurs who meet every quarter. Also look at your local YPO chapter, become part of Vistage groups or hire your own personal coach and meet with him or her regularly. It’s very important to have a clear vision of the future, to provide a path to growth and to stay up to speed on how technology is just destroying one business after another. Don’t be one of those companies that is disrupted because it wasn’t paying attention to the future or keeping tabs on potential competitors from outside its industry.
Until next time, enjoy. Gary
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