In a privately-owned business, the strategic plan for a company is not based solely upon the assumption that the company’s goals and vision are to maximize profit. The strategic plan for your company must begin with your personal goals and vision.
The problem of balancing lifestyle versus being the driving force in a growing business is a common dilemma among owners of privately-owned businesses.
Let me tell you a story that illustrates this point. A TAB member had grown her business from nothing to one doing over $3 million a year within three years. She was taking home over $100,000 a year. She hired a consultant to help her company develop a strategic plan for its growth. The plan laid out the steps necessary to grow the company into an operation with $15 million in annual sales in five years. The consultant showed her how the company would then have a value of over $9 million once the five-year objectives are met.
She told her TAB board of the strategic plan and expressed a personal uneasiness with the company goals. She explained that she was very content with the money she was making. She wanted to work fewer hours, not more. She also didn’t want to bring someone else into the company to run it. Nor did she want to do the traveling that would be necessary to reach the five-year goal. The advice of the group was to redo the company strategic plan so that it would, first of all, satisfy her personal vision, goals and plans. The revised strategic plan resulted in goals that maintained rather than increased the annual revenue, reduced some overhead and enabled her to commit less time to the company.
Do not ignore your personal vision when creating your company strategic plan. Too many business people have been caught up in the push to grow their companies, and they wind up miserable.
Many successful business owners that I have met say if they had to do it all again, they would take more time for themselves. I know that it is much easier to say after accomplishing what they have already achieved, but in advising other business people today, I recommend getting to know yourself first. Find out what will make you happy. After that point, you will be able to determine your business vision, strategic plan and goals that will point you and your business in the direction that will make you happy.