I participate in leading a program for business owners that is offered by the Delaware Small Business Technology and Development Center (SBTDC). The participants meet once a week for three hours over a six week period. During that time they become engaged in a thoughtful analysis of their business and of their plan for that business. The SBTDC calls this their Business Development Network.
This program covers the fundamentals of running and ultimately exiting a successful business. While I was listening to Carla Holland (shown in photo) launch another six-week series recently, I made a list of the basic concepts she discussed in that first session. They are listed below.
- Do you own your business, or does your business own you? What are you planning to do about it?
- Describe what your business will look like in 5 or 10 years, in a way that I can see it. What is your role at that point?
- Most of us want to build a lasting company, with good employees and good processes. This will enable us to become a true CEO.
- Goal setting is important, regardless of whether or how much you want to grow.
- You need to know your marketplace; anticipate changes; stay current with opportunities and threats.
- A written, up-to-date plan makes a big positive difference in success, regardless of how much detail is involved.
A quick reading sounds a lot like motherhood and apple pie, right? But I will wager that a thoughtful review of this list will give you at least one powerful reminder that will help you move forward faster or more profitably.
Great CEOs don’t overlook the nuggets. Take another quick walk through the list, this time assuming there is at least one nugget that applies to you. And if you find multiple areas of real interest, you might even want to contact Carla (or me) and get the dates for the next Business Development Network.