One major difference between successful contractors and ones that continually struggle is the presence of a strategic plan. Does it appear that your weeks are driven by crisis and your days filled with busy activities – running to get nowhere? I am not saying that you are not getting things done, but is it what you want to be working on?
When you are working on your business, rather than in your business, then you can change your opportunities and your future. I know of many business owners that know that things need to change in their business, yet cannot make it happen. In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray’s character was stuck reliving the same day until apprently he got it right. Although it is not known for sure, some people say that it took ten years and others (people with too much time on their hands) say that it was more like 30 or 40 years, to break the cycle.
Are you stuck in the same endless cycle even though you know that it should be different? The process of getting out of your rut starts by acknowledging the realities of your situation and then crafting a plan for change. This process should start with the following:
- What are the big picture goals for the future? Does this align with our mission and vision?
- What items are currently limiting your business?
- Do you have quantifiable metrics that objectively tell the story of how your business is performing?
- Have you properly identified the roles, responsibilities and expectations of your team members?
- Are you key managers performing at least to industry standards?
- Do you have needed capital to finance your growth?
- Do you have the right people, in the right positions in your business?
- Are you paying too much or too little?
- Do you have a marketing plan and regularly look at the return on investment for your various programs or do you just perform the same activities each year – and if you want to grow then just do more?
- Do you have the correct short term goals that will put you on track to achieving your long term expectations?
Your strategic plan should answer the questions above and more. Growing companies think that if they are going to double the size of their business then all that is needed is to replicate and grow the current structure of the business. In reality a five million company is rarely built by doubling the staff of a 2.5 million company. Building a growing company requires establishing a foundation that will support the desired growth.