Tag Archive for: opportunity for growth

The Art of Moving Forward is a Top Priority of Every Business Leader and Entrepreneur. But How?

If you wish for a steady stride to navigate the challenges of the coming year, putting yourself in the driver’s seat is key. After all you are the navigator.


As the captain of the ship, what is your highest priority? When we put the question in this nautical context, the answer is obvious; Always be crystal clear on your destination and how you intend to get there.


This sailing metaphor makes this assertion intuitively obvious. It is absurd to think that a captain of a ship, a plane or a bus driver would venture forth without knowing the destination and having plotted the route.


Nor would we, as passengers or crew, choose to embark on any such journey.


Once the captain and his leadership team are clear on the destination and route, the next step is to share this information with the crew and help them understand their responsibilities on the trip.


Inevitably, course corrections are made along the way: route changes, timelines adjusted, emergencies resolved. The plan is routinely updated and communicated to the crew.


As the leader of your enterprise, how effective are you at documenting and communicating the future direction of your business?


  • Are your short- and long-term goals clearly defined?


  • Does your leadership team know and agree on the “route” – the steps you need to take to reach your destination?


  • Do you have a culture that supports the venture? Does everyone understand the “rules of the village”?


  • How clear are you and your team on where you are today? is there a common understanding of what you sell, who you sell to, your partners and alliances, and your competitors.


  • How clear is the crew on their individual areas of contribution?


  • Do you have an adequate number of “seats on the bus”, and are they filled with qualified people?


A business without a working plan is like a ship sailing without a destination.

The art of moving forward requires mapping, communication and action steps just as is required for reaching any destination, whether in business or in your personal life. 


For more information and easy to use tools on maintaining a working plan for your business please visit our web site. Share your views and insights about planning with others on the “community comments” section.


Jan 27, 2021                                                             © Plan Genie

Now, let’s  prioritize and scrub our list.

Most initial goal setting lists will contain a mixture of measurable outcomes along with future executed action items, our “to do” list, which we call strategies. Most of us tend to think first about the things we need to get done. That’s natural and a good place to start your list. Once you have a list, ask “is this something we need to get done, or is it a measurable outcome?

An initial goal list might look something like this:

  1. Revenue growth of 30% per year. Target revenue three years = $X
  2. Improved profit margins (gross profit) from x to y
  3. Net profits (EBTDA) established and sustained at 10% +
  4. Fully re-designed web site, with effective social media components
  5. Core products available for on-line purchase
  6. 3 new product lines launched
  7. Full time sales manager
  8. Current H R manual, updated on a scheduled basis
  9. New branch opened in (location)
  10. Succession plan in place for all senior positions in the company

Now, let’s refine this list with this perspective

“is this something we need to get done, or is it a measurable outcome?”

  1. Revenue growth of 30% per year. Target revenue three years = $X (This is clearly a measurable outcome. It stays as a goal)
  2. Improved profit margins (gross profit) from x to y. This seems to be related to goals #3.
    let’s combine the two
  3. Another goal, part of our improved revenue/profit picture
  4. This is an action step. It looks like a strategy we need to pursue in order to achieve our revenue goal
  5. Another action step, move to the Strategy section of our plan
  6. Another strategy
  7. Strategy
  8. Strategy
  9. Could be labelled either a goal or strategy
  10. This looks like a big job with significant impact. Let’s leave in the Destination/Goals area of our plan

Here’s the revised version

3 Year Goals (Destination)

  • Revenue/Profit

We expect to achieve a 30% per year revenue growth over the next 3 years. This will put our revenue at the end if 20__ at $XXX

(show prior two years revenue and next 3 year projections in a chart)

  • We need to improve our net profit from the current 6.3% to a sustainable level at 10% or greater

(show prior two years and next three years projections in a chart)

  • We see a clear opportunity for growth in (new territory). This could be either a company office, or an acquisition
  • In order to ensure the long term sustainability of our company, we need to instill a process of succession planning , particularly at the senior level. It is important that we have this in place within the next three years.