Are You Thinking About Your Business In 5 Years?
When you sit down to make goals in your business, it’s important to not only make short-term goals but also long-term goals. You need to know the overarching goals for your business. Where do you see your business in 5 years time?
Are you and your business prepared for the change that is going to come whether you like it or not? By design, you can prepare for these changes and ensure that your business grows in the next 5 years.
Where Do You See Your Business In 5 Years?
Know Your Value Proposition
Your value proposition is what you’re competing on. What differentiates your business from your competitors? For example, do you compete on price, quality, authority or something else? This is your value proposition.
When it comes to business, some of us are better at doing some things than others. By identifying your strengths and weaknesses you can build on the first one and learn how to keep the second one from holding you back.
Know Your Customers
Know who your customers are and how they may change over the years. You may not be able to keep a customer for 5 years, but you may if you know how to keep solving their problems (which within the scope of your offerings may change over time). Having said that, sometimes marketing to your passions or skills is not good enough to guarantee success. You may be the world’s leading source on the mating patterns of the Australian zebra lizard. There may be no one on the planet who can speak as intelligently about Australian zebra lizards and their love interests as you. Even so, there probably aren’t enough people that are interested in that topic for you to build a successful business around it.
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Know Your Competition
Who is your competition? Knowing this is going to help you differentiate yourself and may help you realize why you need to know what they do, who they do it for, why, and how. This, in turn, is going to help tremendously when you create and promote your value proposition. Sometimes a lot of competitors is a sign of a healthy marketplace. The key is realizing how you approach any marketplace and the enthusiasm level of the prospects in that market. Don’t focus on short-term profits. Be patient and reach out to your prospective customers and followers. Solve big problems in their lives, make a difference, and you can grow your business regardless of how much competition you have.
Know Your Key Indicators
There are some key indicators in your metrics that will show you how things are changing over time. What are the key indicators that can most affect your business in 5 years? These are the things you must pay the most attention to. If sales are dropping in one area, why? Is that going out of fashion, or has technology replaced this? What is happening and how can you change with it? No niche stays exactly the same and there is always something new to learn about your marketplace especially when new techniques and trends come down the pipeline. If you’re going to achieve your list of business goals, you’ll need to invest time to learn about new techniques. Being a lifelong learner is one of the best ways to get an edge on your competition and grow a thriving business.
Know Your Revenue Streams
Notice this says streams with an “s”. Your 5 year business plan should include plans for multiple streams of income to help you stay afloat. If one stream is killed by technology, you can rebuild and not suffer and lose your entire business. Don’t rely on selling one product for one price. If you just sell just one product with no add-ons or up-sells your customers will not have sufficient options to pick from. On the other hand, if you try and sell too many products you may confuse your customers and they’ll buy nothing. Does your business have a good mix of related products that provide a least 3 revenue stream:
Know Your Resources
Resources include savings, cash, technology, intelligence, and people. Anything you can use to build your business bigger and better is a resource, including a connection that can help you open doors.
Know Your Strengths
What are your strengths in your business? Defining your business purpose is all about putting your customers first. When you make this messaging clear it ensures that you receive respect from your customers now and for your business in 5 years and beyond. For example, are you good at identifying problems your clients have and then quickly making an offer that fills that need? Are you good at being the authority in your niche? Know what it is and stick to it.
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When you’re paying attention to these factors, you’ll be able to identify key changes in the market that may affect your business. For example, Netflix was known for the mailer they used to allow people to mail movies back and forth easily, but they saw the writing on the wall with digital streaming and changed their business model to accommodate those changes. You may be a smaller business, but with eyes wide open you can manage change and prepare your business for growth.
Putting automatic systems like streamlining, outsourcing and automation to work in your business can make it more efficient and productive. You must work smarter and not harder to improve business efficiency. For more information on how to make a business more efficient download my free checklist, A Guide To Business Systems And Automation.