Generic “profit” or “growth” strategies get you somewhere, but maybe not where you really wanted to go. Your company can provide many things, but not everything. Make it your choice for what it provides. Establish a clear purpose for your business before building strategies.
“Purpose gives you direction. Strategy gives you the directions… Purpose is your why. Strategy is your how.” – Joey Reiman in The Story of Purpose
My strategic planning course (ACE - Achieve, Clarify, Execute) starts with clarifying your life aspirations and company purpose. Some may see this as theoretical and want to rush to more “practical” steps in building a strategy.
Not starting with purpose is like the classic Cheshire Cat scene from Alice in Wonderland:
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don't much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.
Alice: ...So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that
Strategy has to start with purpose. Every small business is unique. Some owners want a lifestyle business that provides time flexibility and reasonable profits. Others want high growth. Others want large cash distributions.
Generic “profit” or “growth” strategies get you somewhere, but maybe not where you really wanted to go. The beauty of a small business is that it can be customized to the needs of the owners. Profit isn’t the only goal. High growth isn’t always the right move.
Your company can provide many things, but not everything. Make it your choice for what it provides.
I wish you clear direction and effective directions. I wish you well.
- Rob Stephens
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