If I come to your office right now and ask you to describe the future of your business, what would you tell me? How big do you think your business be in the next ten years? What would your annual revenue look like in the next 25 years? $1 million or $1 billion? Do you see your business going global? What do you see?
I think our businesses do not grow beyond the startup level because we don’t see beyond the next meal. So we are laboring to acquire things, not for exponential growth. Michael Gerber shared the following story about Sarah.
“Sarah said, I see my business about seven years from now in four locations: the one I have now and three more. She named the three communities adjoining hers. The name of the business is the same. There is no need to change that.
The business is all about pies, all about the experience of pies my aunt gave me. It’s that experience I wish to give to other people. Not only my customers but the people I hire. I want everyone to know, somehow, that All About Pies is a metaphor for something much finer.
I see the shops producing annual sales of $450,000 each, for a total of $1,800,000 a year. I’m not totally certain what the net profit will be, but I’ve decided that it should be about 15 percent, or $65,000 for each shop, for a total of $270,000 for the four.
I feel that that’s a reasonable profit to shoot for, even though today I’m only producing about 11 percent, after my income, I mean. That means if I sell the business in seven years, given a realistic price|earning ratio, I think it’s called, I should be able to sell the business for more than $1 million.
One million dollars in seven years- that’s my dream.” She said to me, smiling as though she could already see the money in the bank. “Because, first, I won’t ever need any more money than that to do everything I have ever wanted, and second, because it’s really a great round number to shoot for. It sort of makes everything I need to do really concrete.
Before I can open my second shop, I realize I’ve got to get this one operating without me. And so, one of the first things I’m going to do and I’ve already begun to do since we met is to document all of the things I really know how to do today.
For example, I know how to bake a great pie. And I know that I can document how I do that, so that’s one of the first places I’m going to begin… Each shop will produce pies with fruit from a central organic garden. Which means I’m going to have to find one to buy, or land that I’m going to have to plant, centrally located between the shops so that each has the access it needs.
What it also means is that the shops are only going to bake pies from fruit that’s in season here, when it’s in season. I’m not going to use fruit from anyplace other than my own garden, and that is going to be something unique about All about Pies that differentiates it from every other bakery or small pie shop. Truly homegrown. With homegrown gentle care.”
“But what’s also exciting to me,” Sarah continued, “is that I realize that I’ve already done a lot of what I’m describing in my current shop. The floors are the best oak. The ovens are the best you can buy. The display cases are absolutely gorgeous. My aunt would have loved my place.
And that’s what I also realized while I was thinking about all this. That if I’m ever in question about whether I’m doing it right or not, all I have to ask myself is, ‘What would my aunt think?’ and I’ll know the answer.”
What amazed my about Sarah is how she detailed her dream as if she had already attained it. The description was so real that you can literally feel it. Anyone who has that kind of dream will definitely take his or her business to the next level!
So, dear friend, what is your dream? How big do you want your business to be? What will your revenue look like in the next ten years? What volume of products would you be selling in the next ten years? How many staff would you hire in the next ten years? How many branches will you have in the next ten years? Do you see yourself selling franchise rights instead of opening shops here and there in the next ten years?
If you die within the next ten years, what do you think will happen to your business? Do you have a ten, twenty, forty or one hundred years vision? Do you have succession plan? Can another person manage your business effectively in your absence because you structured your business in way that anybody can take over at anytime?
I want to encourage you to write down your dream today. Look into the future and document what you see. While Sarah was describing her dream, she had only one shop and one staff. So it’s not what you have now that determines how big your business will be. Don’t ever restrain your imagination.
Harriet Tubman said; “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Eleanor Roosevelt opined, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Mike Tyson puts it this way, “I’m a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds.”
Dear friend, it’s time to dream and pursue after your dream with the tenacity of a bulldog! Impossibility is only a product of your imagination. If you believe, all things are possible! Kindly scroll up, click on Our Solutions button and see various ways we can help to grow your business and ideas. Keep soaring!
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