First, define what success means for your business. Are you looking to establish a global presence, or is it that every customer is extremely satisfied with their experience with your brand? With this clarity, you can optimise operations and communicate solid expectations to your team. I like to tell my staff I time travel every single day. That is, I come up with a five-year plan for how the business is going to unfold, and revisit it periodically. You can do this too by breaking down your plan into four quadrants.
Quadrant 1: the fundamentals of the business that have to be established before we even build a store. What is your brand? What is the design of the logo, for instance, and what is your mission? Plan out the basics from the start because most often, this process tends to take a lot longer than expected.
Quadrant 2: the store. If your brand has a physical presence, what are the types of locations you’re aiming for? How large a trading area do you need for our operations to be optimised? If you’re a digital brand, think about how you can streamline your UI and UX and what your design would evolve to be. Establishing this step will set the parameters for your growth.
Quadrant 3: operational excellence. These are the aspects involved in ensuring that the product or service the consumer receives is at its best. This pertains to staff training, hiring protocols, and the procedures that occur in the day-to-day running of your business.
Quadrant 4: keeping close to your customers to stay relevant. Businesses and brands have to evolve over time in order to stay relevant to the people they are targeting. As such, identifying long-term trends that the business will have to adapt or adjust to should be factored in here. For example, if you’re a restaurant and there’s an increased demand for delivery, you could plan for how you can ensure your food remains excellent even when it is delivered to your customer’s doorstep.
Alongside these four quadrants that map out the direction of the business, I also like to map out milestones that are to be achieved in the span of the five years broken down into annual brackets. Within the first year, maybe you would want your IP trademark to be registered. Within the second year, you want to have x clients. Within the third, you want to expand overseas. Laying out your goals across five years helps crystallise your vision and the direction for how you grow. As they say, if you don’t define your destination, you will never arrive.
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Former Chief Executive Officer | Former CEO
Burger King Scandinavia | 4Fingers