Member Article

Start your Business with the end in mind for ultimate success.

This article was written by award winning Business Coach Peter Boolkah who has over 25 years experience helping businesses of all sizes scale up and grow.

Stephen Covey was an American author, educator and businessman. He was famous for his book ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. Habit number 2 was ‘Start with the end in mind’. The meaning of this was to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen. What we as business owners and coaches realised was that this could also be related to starting and operating a successful business. Read on to find out why you should start your business with an idea of how you would sell it. How you should start with the end in mind.

As an Entrepreneur, you are likely to be an expert in your product or service. However, often entrepreneurs and business owners are not as good at stepping back and looking at how to optimise the value of their business. They get caught up in making money in the short term and forget that a strategic approach to their business will give it the best chance of success. For example, when you start a business you often need funding. For that, you get a business plan together. That business plan takes into account the business idea, the people you will need to help you, what money you will make and how much money you will need to facilitate it all. To do this you need to envisage what you want your business to look like in the future. Define what your end goal is. What would your business look like if you were to sell it at the height of its success and how do you build it to look like that? What do you want to achieve with your business? The most valuable and attractive businesses for sale are ones that are on a clear upward financial growth trajectory. You need to be able to demonstrate that within your business structure. Consider your target market, revenue streams, operational strategy, and financial projections. Who will you need in terms of team members, partners and investors to help grow your business and what is your timescale?

Setting up efficient systems, assembling a skilled team, and creating strong processes to support your long-term vision will help with that strategy of upward growth. A strong infrastructure is key, as is planning for unexpected events and working out how your business would withstand them. For example over the last four years business owners have had to deal with a global pandemic, Brexit and a war in Europe which have all come together to cause a substantial cost of living crisis. When planning and starting your business you need to make sure it can withstand an unexpected event. You must always have a plan of what to do if the economy is rocked and your business is affected in some way.

Design your business in a way that allows for scalability and growth. Make sure that the operations part of your business is adaptable and able to accommodate an increase in demand. However, you must always make sure that you have a clear plan for cash flow and how to reinvest into the business to grow it. Your business must support evolving market trends. The business landscape is constantly evolving. Embrace change and be willing to pivot your strategies to stay relevant and competitive. As part of this make sure you regularly assess the progress of your business against your long-term goals. You should adjust strategies, make necessary changes, and ensure that your decisions align with the end goals of growth you set out in the original plan.

Getting a business ready for sale takes years. Usually, an exit strategy takes around 7 years from planning to sale completion. This is why regardless of whether you intend to sell your business or not this is an interesting and helpful exercise to do when embarking on setting up a business. An exit strategy helps to maximise the value of your business. Work out how to optimise the value of your business over a period of time to get the best price if you come to sell or you need more investment to grow.

When we talk about starting a business with the end in mind, put simply it is about setting a clear vision and building your business with a strategy to achieve that vision. Make sure your business is properly positioned and there are no weak spots to be taken advantage of. Make sure you create something sustainable, that will thrive and help you realise your ambitions as a business owner.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Lucy Hood .

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