“How you begin will determine how you finish.”
~ Terrence Bull
There are four ways your business can end: you die still holding the rudder; or you sell the business; or you commit urban child abuse and bequeath the business to your children; or the business collapses.
There is a common myth that many business owners hold onto. They say to themselves, “One day my business will be big enough that I can employ a manger to run it for me.” While I do know of businesses that have grown big enough from very humble beginnings to be able to fund a full time manager, the owner simply moves into a more senior role: that of a true Managing Director - or company President. They stop trying to do everything themselves and begin to delegate more of the day-to-day running of the business to the manager. However, they still have duties that mean they have not escaped from working a full time job. That is, this is NOT an Exit Strategy.
Also, from a marketing perspective, you need to start promoting, branding, thinking about and selling the business as if you have already achieved your long-term goal for the business. That is, for example, if you want to build a franchised chain of restaurants, don’t simply build a nice little cottage restaurant if it is not something you can’t easily reproduce latter on. Think of what the end franchise would look like: consider the branding; the layout of the ‘standard’ franchised restaurant; the staff training requirements; the easily reproducible menu; etc.; etc.
It is much easier to create a positive first impression than to change an already established bad perception. That is, it is much harder to convince people 10 years down the track that your business is a large and successful one when all they have ever known about it is the small, poorly branded family business that you have been promoting for 10 years.
Your brand is the foundation that you build your business on - so make sure you get it right from day one. This is one thing you cannot simply ignore - and make sure you involve a professional to help you.
Source: Dream: Profound Insights For Creating Business Success By Terrence Bull