Long Term V’s Short Term Thinking

How To Lay The Right Foundations For Long Term Business Success

As a society we are constantly looking for the quick fix. Be it how to make more money, looking better, getting fit, or even getting that shiny new car.

I’m curious, In your business, do you find that you’re regularly working 80+ hours per week? If so, have you thought about the long term consequences of this? How does it affect things such as your health, you relationships with friends and family, and even the long term viability of the business success?

Have a look at the wheel of life, below. On it, you’ll see there are eight parts to your “wheel”. If you were to think of it as a tyre and assess yourself on a scale of 1-10 in each area then you will quickly see where you’re running low. This is a powerful way to spot any imbalances you have in your life, and make changes so you can regain your equilibrium. But it will not happen overnight, it’s an ongoing process which will need regular re-assessing.

This ties into your long term success (both Personal and Business). To be fulfilled one needs to be balanced in mostly all areas of their lives. I find all too often that many business owners are consumed by their work to the exclusivity of all else. The second they step away from the coal face of the operations it starts to slow down and stagnate.

When we operate in this way it’s little wonder that so many owners find that they’re constantly working, and unable to find a way to take time away for fear that everything will fall apart, which it generally does.

Being the superhero owner who is always the first to arrive and last to leave can have serious consequences, such as:

  1. Feeling completely drained and overwhelmed, possibly even bed ridden – Burnt out
  2. Complete apathy and almost dislike towards their business or anything to do with it – Burn out

So what changes are needed to avoid getting burnt out?

It takes Intention, real intention to change how the business is run.

You must make the decision (often it will be forced on you) to put the process in place so that you have a business built on a foundation of vision and values. It’s also important to know why you’re opening a business in the first place. Because, yes, it does take a lot of hard work to start and run a profitable business, but it’s also important to maintain a big picture perspective.

This is particularly important when you find “short term and urgent” issues that will constantly take your attention away from the “long term and critical” aspects that will make the business successful whether you’re there or not.

I just want to reiterate how important your vision is for the business. If you were to think about Whole Foods (US) or St. Ali (Aus) or Square Mile Coffee (UK) they are all founded on a powerful vision. You as a consumer will know the feeling these businesses give you.

If you take some time to seriously consider and think about the business you are creating, one with it’s own unique character (separate from you).

  • What feeling do you want the customers to feel?
  • How will it best serve it’s customers?
  • How will it be perceived by staff, suppliers and customers?
  • How will it be unique?
  • In what way(s) does it provide value?
  • How big is it (shops, staff, turnover, profit, no. of seats / covers etc.)

This is hard work, but its going to be a great place to get the foundation in place. Only then, once you have prepared can you start to work on your cornerstones of People, Profit and Promotion.

It’s never too late to do this work. If you find you’re struggling to implement a vision for your business and need some help, get in touch, I am happy to take an hour to help you design the business that works how you want it.

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