Planning for the future is one of the most important things you can do for your business. If you’re working without plans that take in the short, medium and long term, then you could find you’ve done serious harm to your prospects, simply by taking different opportunities that pull your business in your different directions, setting up fatal consequences for the future.
Strategy consulting firms are one way to get help here: they can help you plan for the future in a consistent and sustainable way, and make sure you’re set up to recognise opportunities and weather shocks in the years to come. There’s plenty you can do without your help, and today we’re taking a look at some of the factors you should be aware of as you plan for the future of your business.
The Size of Your Market
It’s well worth researching to try and understand how big the market is for products or services – locally, nationally and globally. This helps you understand how much revenue you can expect to bring in (or identify problems: why are you only reaching half the people you’d expect to?), but also helps you plan for the future by setting the limits of your expansion. If you commit resources to expanding beyond the demand of your market, you set yourself up for costly failure – and that becomes more possible the more specialised your field is.
It’s not always easy to determine the size of your market accurately: market research firms can help, as can examining the results and statistics posted by publicly traded companies in your field, as can simply looking at the search volumes of keywords for your industry. It’s well worth getting some expert help here as this information can be really important as your business takes shape.
What You Want
There are lots of different potential futures for your business: there is no one vision for success. It’s important to think about what you want out of your business and build that into your plans. For some people, the sky’s the limit (or not even that in the case of Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk), but others have more modest ambitions, and it’s well worth reflecting on yours. Getting pulled into growth you’re neither ready nor willing to take on can result in a disastrous dip in customer service and spell the end for your business.
Understanding what you want to get out of your business allows you to come up with a vision for the future that you can work towards and use as a guide in your day to day decision making for years to come!