Where will your business be for Rio?
DO you remember where you were for the Beijing Games? How about the Sydney Olympics? Or the Atlanta Olympics - all the way back in 1996?
I have vague memories of taping (yes, on actual video cassettes) the Atlanta Games while poring over the newspaper liftout of the TV guide. This time around, we simply selected the events we'd like to watch from the Electronic Program Guide and set them to pre-record on the DVR.
Life changes quickly, even in the short four years between Olympic Games. As the post-Olympic blues may have set in this week (morning TV just isn't that exciting anymore!), let's look ahead to the 2016 Games in Rio and think...where will you be?
Now, this being a business column, of course we're going to ask where your business would be in 2016. However, the same questions could quite as easily be applied to your finances, your career or your relationships.
1. Will your business still exist?
This is a pretty major question to ask, and one that's definitely worthy of asking. Industries change today in the blink of an eye, and your business needs to stay relevant to stay in business (successfully, at least!).
The levels of risk in your business should be assessed here too - we all know that no risk equals no reward, but too much risk can also equal no reward! Take a moment to stop and think - are the business risks you're taking worth it? Are you keeping a finger on the pulse of change in your industry?
2. Will you be making money?
Being profitable is not something that happens by chance - it takes a considerable amount of planning and strategic execution. If you don't even know what profit your business is making today, you've got very little chance of being able to improve it!
Book yourself a meeting with your financial advisor today and get a handle on what's happening with your business's finances - you'll be glad you did, and you'll be on your way to being sustainably profitable.
3. Will your team have grown?
Now if you're a sole trader (or single person!) now, you may be comfortable with where you are now and not necessarily want a team of people to work with you.
However, as your business grows, you may need to re-think your capacity. Extra team members bring with them both benefits and burdens - they can ease the pressure on you, but they also come with a whole set of HR implications that you will need to consider. As always, if you don't have the knowledge, don't go it alone! There are many experts who would be more than happy to help you out.
So today, instead of sitting in front of the TV and mourning the Olympics past, why don't you take an hour or two to write down your vision for 2016 and where you want your business to be?
If you don't know where the goal posts are, you definitely can't score.