In the course of serving our nation, veterans learn valuable skills and self-discipline that they can carry through to their post-military careers. One professional path that many veterans take is entrepreneurship.
According to the most recent U.S. Census data, in 2012, the number of veteran-owned businesses was 2,521,682 (9 percent of all companies in the U.S.). Those businesses employed over 5 million people. Continue reading
Don’t make the all-too-common mistake of dismissing the value of planning for your business. Every well-run business needs to manage strategy, tactics, milestones, metrics and essential business numbers.
Do it right, and planning is easy to do, great for managing and developing accountability.
Remember these two key points:
- Good planning doesn’t require a big, formal, traditional business plan document. A lean business plan is much easier than a traditional plan. It just consists of bullet-point lists and tables. You can do it yourself.
- What really makes the difference is keeping the plan live. It doesn’t take more than an hour or two per month. The planning process means you track results, review, and revise often enough to keep your plan fresh.
I read with interest how Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, described his philosophy around “Day 1.”When asked what Day 2 looked like he described it as “Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that’s why it is always Day 1.”
Personally, I love this approach. I mentioned it recently to a group of entrepreneurs in the Emerging Leaders class here in Seattle and it seemed to fit in perfectly with what they are working on. They have all been in business for 3 or more years and are now creating new strategic growth plans for their businesses of the future. In order to do this without all the “constraints” that experience and beliefs dictate are “true,” we have to look at it as Day 1, and then consider – what will you do differently?
Think of it like Groundhog Day. You get to keep doing it over and over again but with a different template, different knowledge, and a different environment. If you were recreating your business, what would Day 1 look like now? Who’s to say you can’t give it a try? Continue reading