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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Start at the End

In business, the day-to-day stress of selling and making profits can have you and your team so focused on short-term goals that you lose sight of the long-term vision.

In his book “Start at the End: How Companies Can Grow Bigger and Faster by Reversing Their Business Plan ”, David Lavinsky  suggests that you take some time to reverse engineer your business plan (or "start at the end") to re-create your long-term vision. Here is some of his advice:

·         Write down your “grand mission” for your company on paper using as many “crystal-clear” details as possible. If you “envision a $40 million company, you’ll achieve more success than if you planned for a $5 million company .” page 14

·         Devise systems so your business can run without you. “The single biggest problem in virtually any small business is you, the bottleneck.” Your business should be “Process dependent, not people dependent.” page 59

·         Don’t be afraid to upsell. If someone is willing to buy a $12 hammer, you could very well sell him a “$20 hammer that reduces the chance for injuries.” If he doesn’t want the $20 hammer, he’ll say so. page 104

·         Be very clear with your employees about what you want because “95 percent” of the “typical workforce” doesn’t know its organization’s overall strategy. When hiring, check references. (you’ll  be thankful.) page 128

Reading a book like “Start at the End” is a good reminder that taking a break to think about your situation, priorities and goals (even though it seems like you don’t have the time can be refreshing and refocusing. Like Abe Lincoln said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
If you are interested in buying this book,

sources: Start at the End - Lavinsky (Wiley); Bloomberg Businessweek 11/26/12 

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