What is the first thing you need to know before you start driving your car? Of course, I am assuming you know how to drive and are using safety devices like seat belts!
But the next thing is “Where are we going?”!!!
Whether you are just driving to the grocery store or you are about to drive halfway across the country, knowing where you are going is critical to you actually arriving at your destination. It is so important that most new cars have a navigation system built into them.
Since we go to so much trouble to make sure we navigate correctly when we drive, you would think we would all be well trained in making sure we are navigating our business toward our desired destination!
What I find, though, is time and time again, the business owner gets so caught up in doing things within the business, they never look up and consider where they are heading. Or if it is anywhere near the direction they want to end up!
I was talking with a business owner (let’s call him Marty) who was telling me about the various different lines of business he was expanding into and the opportunities they would each eventually bring the business.
In the next breath, Marty was telling me they were not making any money and he was not taking a salary. When I asked about his goals for the company, he just returned to talking about the opportunities for the new product lines. There was no connection between those tasks and his eventual goal.
Another business owner, let’s call him Adam, had a good idea of where he wanted the business to go but refused to share these goals with his managers. I am still not sure how NOT sharing his goals helped Adam, but I clearly saw how his managers struggled with how to staff the company and whether to recommend renting versus buying equipment.
Having a direction, sharing the direction with your team, and occasionally checking that you are on course is at least as important for your company as they are for your next car trip!