Planning for the Future with an Eagle EyeDec 18, 2023
[Listen to the Podcast version here]
Today, I’m going to talk about fine tuning the vison you have as CEO of your business.
The first step of that process is acknowledging that you are the CEO, even if you don’t feel like one.
It’s critical to the success of your business that you make the transformation from the person that does all the things to the person that sets the tone and vision for the business – you must fully embrace your role as CEO.
It doesn’t matter how small your business is or how many employees you have. If you want to scale your business beyond what you can do yourself on an hourly basis, taking a step back from the day to day and getting very clear on where you want your business to go and what you need to get there is the key to your success.
If you’re struggling with seeing yourself as a CEO, check out episode 1 of my podcast, Your Virtual CFO Coach, called Adopting a CEO Mindset for Financial Success. It breaks down 5 key elements of the CEO mindset and is a great place to start identifying where your mindset blocks are.
Today, I want to focus on your vision as CEO.
When you’re just getting started, your focus is usually getting enough customers to make enough money to pay your bills and maybe have a little cash saved up for a rainy day. Many of you are doing this on your own because you can’t afford help. You’re constantly in triage mode – there’s not enough of you to go around, so it feels like there’s always a fire that needs to be put out somewhere. You don’t have the time or luxury of thinking about the future – you have to focus on what’s right in front of you or there won’t be a future.
But eventually, that hard work pays off.
You figure out the basics and expand your customer base enough to provide a living for you and your family. The pressure starts to lessen a little bit and you can start thinking about the future.
And this is where things can start to get tricky again.
You’ve worked hard to bring stability to your business. When you’re ready to take things to the next level, you want to do what you can to stop yourself from ending back up in triage mode.
That’s where your CEO vision comes in.
You want to plan for the future with an eagle eye. Where humans have a 20/20 vision on average, eagles have 20/5 vision. In real terms, what this means is that eagles can see things from 20 feet away that we can only see from 5 feet away. As a CEO, you need to cultivate a far-seeing vision. You may not be able to see it with the naked eye, but you can envision what you want to create and take steps to make it a reality, slowly bringing it into focus.
Instead of just focusing on where you want to be in 12 months, think bigger.
Where do you want to be in 5 years or 10?
And don’t think of this just at the business level. Remember, you are the CEO, and your business is the vehicle for you to live a life that will make you happy and feel fulfilled.
“In 5 years, I want my business to reach $5M in annual revenue.”
Make it personal.
What does $5M in revenue mean for you, your family, your community, your employees, etc.?
Your vision could sound something like this:
“In 5 years, I want my business to reach $5M in annual revenue so I can travel the world with my family, send my kids to their college of choice, donate to charities I believe in, and provide an excellent work environment and benefits to my employees.”
This revised vision gives you tangible goals that have meaning to you. It’s not just a clinical dollar figure.
Then, you can break that vision down into achievable milestones.
- Double revenue from $500k to $1M
- Make your first key hire
- Provide health insurance
- Open college savings accounts for your kids
- Take a two-week vacation with your family
Year 2 – 3:
- Grow revenue from $1M to $2.5M
- Hire additional key personnel
- Provide 401(k) and supplemental benefits
- Determine % of profits for charitable donations & select your charities to support
- Take 2 two-week vacations with your family each year
- Grow revenue from $2.5M - $5M
- Full recruitment and employee growth plans in place
- Implement an unlimited vacation policy for employees
- Increase % of profits for charitable donations
- Take a family vacation every quarter
By thinking far out into the future, you’ve enabled yourself to create a more vibrant vision for the future which further enables you to build a business that supports that vision.
From this vision, you can then create strategic plans to achieve each milestone and build in success assessments to make sure you can take advantage of opportunities and stay on track to achieve your eagle vision.
Your year 1 strategic plan would break down:
- How to double your revenue from $500k to $1M
- Who your first key hire needs to be, what they will do, how you will train them and transition work to them, their compensation package, etc.
- What your budget for health insurance is, providers to research, types of plans to consider, etc.
- Options for college savings accounts, budget for contributions, etc.
- Budgeting for your family vacation, what needs to happen for you to feel comfortable taking the vacation, preparations for the business to function without you, etc.
You would do the same thing for years 2-3 and years 4-5, getting more granular as the time frame shortens. Your year 1 milestones would then be broken down into quarters, months, and weeks. This isn’t done all at the beginning, but on a rolling basis as you achieve milestones and begin working on the next one.
As a virtual CFO and cash flow strategist, this is the process that I help my clients with. Together, we develop your Decisive CEO Mindset which includes the eagle vision discussed on today’s show, your Cohesive Profit System which is the engine that will fuel your growth, and your Cultivated Success Blueprint which will enable you to take advantage of opportunities and adapt quickly as your business grows.
If you’re interested in learning more about this process, I invite you to book your free Cash Flow Strategy call. We’ll discuss where you want to take your business and what you feel are your current challenges, some tweaks you can make to your current structure, and if we’re a good fit, I’ll share some ways we could work together to achieve your goals faster. This is an information only call, no pressure to make any decisions. It’s up to you what you want to do!