Start with the End in Mind

Notice I didn’t put this well-repeated piece of advice at the start of the blog as hundreds of other authors of “success” books have done. Why? Because as important as it is, it’s not nearly as important as the REAL-life stuff I’ve told you about: marketing, sales, and kaizen!

Most people would rather dazzle you with their visions than talk about boring stuff like training people how to sell, or profit and loss statements!

It is important to have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. This should be written down and take no more than a single page. If it takes more to explain, it’s most likely too complicated to succeed. That’s why many of the world’s best business plans were written on cocktail napkins!

The single-page vision statement should be backed up with some conservative assumptions and a pro forma to match. (A pro forma lays out the financial numbers of sales, expenses, and so on.)

Never start a business, expand, or start a new product line without a pro forma. It’s astonishing how many people do! Once you have done the math, double your expenses and triple how much time you think it will take to break even!

Now you’re closer to reality! Yes, reality often sucks, but it’s still the best place to start!

Write it down; if it doesn’t work on paper, it won’t work in real life!

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