Most startup companies that receive investor funding or scale massively within a couple of years don’t do so without a plan. The plan outlines the vision for the company, the ways in which the organization can generate revenue and ultimate goals of the business. With a solid business plan, a company can go from one small idea to a big business the size of Google or Facebook. Strategists spend months or even years detailing these plans. So, if a business and branding strategy is so crucial to your business, then doesn’t it also make sense to spend some time developing one or more professional growth strategies for yourself?
Most of us tend to do this, at least in a passive manner. When you’re at a career standstill, you might consider the possibility of grad school. Or, when looking for business development opportunities, you might weigh the differences between working in the high-tech neighborhoods of Silicon Valley against exploring the luxurious snowbird communities here in sunny Florida.
But have you ever actually sat down and tried to design a business strategy for yourself? By thinking about yourself the same way you might think of a true commodity or service business, you can come to some interesting assessments as to how to best develop your skill set in order to achieve maximum growth.
When business leaders design business plans, they combine several factors. First of all, they think of their current assets. For an individual, this might mean tangible assets such as your home, as well as other assets such as your savings, your years of experience and your education. All of these things can be leveraged in different ways for potential growth opportunities.
Then, they think of those assets in relation to the current landscape in order to make predictions about the future. For an individual, this might mean looking at the current market opportunities and figuring out what you might need in order to better prepare yourself for opportunities down the line. This doesn’t necessary mean taking two years off to enroll in an MBA program; rather, it simply means understanding the changing nature of the world, to essentially make sure you’re not investing your time and energy in dated technology or ideas. If there is a gap in your skill set, you can fill it by taking classes, reading relevant articles and even hands-on experience through volunteering.
Finally, big companies will then design goals for the future. For a business, that might mean sales goals, as well as campaigns to help reach those goals. From a personal standpoint, this might instead mean income goals, or professional development goals. Campaigns might be interpreted as making strategic decisions as to how to spend your time, perhaps by going to more networking events and conferences to help grow your network.
Thinking of yourself as your own small business can help inspire entrepreneurial thinking that not only helps your own personal brand, but also can help create business opportunities that help grow your company. By thinking strategically about personal growth opportunities, you can ultimately add much more value to business, and to your career.
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