Begin with the End in Mind

Don’t we wish we’d known then what we know now?

While many people begin a new venture or project with an end goal in mind, they don’t often think about what the potential conclusion for that venture or project will look like. It’s a crucial step missing from most strategic planning sessions for groups or sole proprietors.

Let’s look at an example…Sally’s launching a new company that provides pet grooming services and her goal is $200,000 in annual revenue. Her exit strategy is to sell her company when she’s ready to retire. But what if she’s the only groomer and she builds all the personal relationships with the clients? Will anyone buy that from her? Worse yet, what if it’s called “Sally’s Pet Grooming?” That entrepreneur didn’t begin with the end in mind.

It’s very difficult to sell a brand at retirement if that brand is YOU. Once you leave the company, where’s the value for the purchaser? The name no longer applies. The relationships are likely gone. And the expertise has walked out the door.

Let’s look at a SUCCESSFUL exit strategy for this same start-up scenario. Let’s call the business “A+ Grooming” – something general that expresses quality. When possible, let’s bring in other groomers (even part time) to ensure customers know that A+ Grooming provides a TEAM of experts. Even if that team leaves when the business is sold in 25 years, the customers aren’t relying on ONE person’s knowledge and friendship.

Having this bigger picture in mind could mean much larger goals for retirement. It can turn that $200,000 annual revenue into $500,000 or more by adding more staff and investing in the company to reach more customers. Consider adding more locations and building the team across the region. Embrace the possibility of expansion and build a BUSINESS, not just a job for yourself.

Begin with the end in mind and your finale could be much grander!

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