To paraphrase an exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”. This little nugget of knowledge can be applied to planning for your business as well. If you lack the vision to determine your goals and destination you will still reach a destination, but there’s no guarantee you’ll like it.
Creating a road map for your company will help you to define your goals [destination] and how you want to get there [the roads you’ll take]. Without a road map you may be working very hard, but not working very smart. As a business owner each day comes with a multitude of decisions which you need to make. A roadmap, makes those decisions simpler by causing you to consider if decisions bring you closer to or further from your goal.
A roadmap also gives you something to strive for, and allows you to rise above the day-to-day distractions of running a business by highlighting a clear end point. Indeed a clear vision often serves as the guiding light for moving your business forward.
While there are numerous ways to develop a road map, one of the best ways to do so is based upon 2 underlying goals:
- Clearly define the end vision. Doing so with your team is also very important so that everyone is clear on the destination and strives to achieve the same goal
- Realistically outline the path to reach that destination
It is especially important to note that if you are struggling to achieve point #2, you may need to re-examine your vision in point #1 and consider how feasible and realistic it is.
Once you developed your road map be sure to share it with your entire team to ensure that everyone is clear on what needs to be done and what part they will play. It is also important to regularly check in and evaluate your progress towards your goals. By doing so, you will have clarity on whether you are closer or further from your end goals. Do this planning now and you will enter the fourth quarter stronger than before and prepare yourself for an even stronger 2017.