Now that you have some background with knowing what to do and how you intend to move forward, you need to have a long-term vision of what you want your business to look like. As an entrepreneur, one of the goals of your business is keeping costs under control. Don’t be stingy. There are certain functions like marketing which you cannot avoid that require constant testing and verification. Spending marketing dollars is a continual plan, do, check, then change to improve each response.
One of the first milestones is making a profit or “being in the black” early in your business. The sooner your in the black and making profit the better off you are.
Startup date + “Making your First Sale.” There is nothing like selling to your very first customer.
Startup date + six months after. From the date of your startup you should be able to handle your business operationally: clearly defined processes, ideal customers, and most of all the pricing of your products. For solo entrepreneurs you should be making a profit soon after starting or toward the end of the six months.
Startup date + 12-18 months after. Larger businesses should reach a break even point or begin profitability at this time in the start of your business and everyone should concentrate on gaining more ground in revenue.
Startup date + three to five years after. Continually improving what you are doing to gain more customers and evaluate your growth plans to see if you are on track.
Startup date + five to ten years after. Delegate some or all of your tasks so that you can do other things, such as taking a vacation, thinking of your next business idea, or even doing other types of work such as doing non profit work.
If you have moved beyond the years of being in business it’s now time to take a look at your longer terms prospects by seeing how you intend to move forward.
Are you on track based on the below ideas of what to do with your business?
Long term: Product to market results
All businesses require a long-term view, direction and strategy to be able to break down the long term view into bite sized steps for daily and weekly tasks and to-dos. At first, it’s all about your product to your customers. At some point as you grow you may create a new market. You’ll have to switch your focus from the product itself to what the market wants because you have changed the game but you’ll have competitors that will try to take your place.
It’s not about you
In the beginning of this book, I said, “It’s about you!” and asked the questions: What is your passion? What do you love to do? As you grow your passion into building a business and build your confidence as you become successful, the need arises to transition from passions to business sense. You should never completely lose that passion “it’s about me” but shift your focus to “it’s about the business” and all things related.
The purpose of any business is not to fuel your ego, it’s to serve the customer. It’s a...