The four focus points of great entrepreneurs
As business owners, it is incredibly easy for us to get bogged down in the day-to-day of running a business. However this short-term view leaves us simply fire-fighting and running a business, instead of growing a business.
High level entrepreneurs have four main focus points when it comes to approaching and developing businesses, when followed these four focus points will pull you out of the day-to-day and enable you to start building a truly great company.
It is your primary job as the business owner to set the vision and direction of the company. Many business owners shy away from setting a clear vision for the business pointing to the excuse that “I’d just be guessing, I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.”
In my experience, the bigger the vision you have for the business, the harder people will work for you and work with you, be it staff, partners, investors or board members.
Set a 1 year, 2 year and 5 year vision for your business. Make it compelling. Make it bold. Then make sure you talk about it every day.
Your vision may include both financial goals and non-financial goals. However once the financial goal has been set, break that Year 1 goal down into how many sales need to be made for that year, each quarter, each month, each week and each day.
This ensures you as the business owner, your staff and anyone else involved in the business know exactly what needs to be achieved on a daily basis in order to achieve your Year 1 Vision.
Once you’ve got the sales targets in place, what does the organisation need to look like in order to make these sales and deliver?
Here you want to examine three things:
- Your organisational chart – How is the organisation set up, and do you need to bring on extra business development, operations or admin staff in order to hit and deliver on your sales targets?
- Position Descriptions – Everyone in the organisations needs a very clear and detailed Position Description that communicates to them and everyone else in the organisation, what role they play on the team.
- Systems – What sort of systems need to be in place in order to make this volume of sales and deliver on them?
Once you have set the vision, determined the sales that need to be achieved, and worked out what staff base you need to deliver on these objectives, all of that information needs to go into a 12 month budget. Most early stage businesses don’t need a full-time CFO, therefore you can engage one on a casual basis for an hourly rate.
This 12 month forecast will include all projected revenues, cost of goods and the expenses of running the business (including any additions to the staff base), and will provide you with a financial scoreboard that needs to accompany any business decision going forward.
The budgeted numbers also need to be consistent with the financial goals you’ve outlined in your vision, if they don’t then something’s got to give.
If you as the captain of your ship can get clear on all of the above, not only does it make you a more effective entrepreneur, it will make you an incredibly effective leader for everyone who comes into contact with your business.
Big vision, small steps.