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What's Your "End Game?" Do You Really Have One? Or Need One?

small-business-blogs-Entrepreneurend-gameEntrepreneurs start businesses for various reasons. Some because of their belief in a concept they have developed. Others because they have a desire to make an impact on society or the world. Still others because they just want to escape the corporate world and be able to control their own destiny. Or some combination of all three.

But few entrepreneurs give much thought to where their business might or should lead. Their ultimate purpose. Their "end game."

For many, it either simply evolves, or worse, they wake up one day and realize they've spent five or ten or more years with no real objective in mind, zigging and zagging from thing to thing, making some progress but toward no particular purpose.

Your "end game" should define why you are in business. It might be primarily financially driven - to develop and grow the business to a certain level, over a certain time and then sell it. Or, it might be much loftier - to create more of a societal impact, improving conditions, changing habits, addressing needs in some segment of the population or the world. Or, it might be something as simple as to create a good living for yourself, while doing work you love and delivering specialized products or services, on some small scale. It could mean a short-term, 3-5 year objective or it could define a "lifestyle" business that ends when you decide you no longer want to do it.

Whatever it is or how you define it, it should be as specific as you can make it and it should be as personal to you (and your partners, if you have any) as possible. It should be the reason for your business' existence; why you work 60-70 hours for sub-market compensation. Why you celebrate the small victories of your staff or company. Why you can't wait to get in, in the morning, why you are the last one to leave each night.

It is simply the answer to the question every entrepreneur or small business owner asks himself/herself at multiple points in the enterprise's history - "why am I doing this?"

Know the answer. You'll still ask the question, but, at least, it will just be a reminder, rather than a deep soul-search.

And, as important, you should review your "end game," at least, yearly to continually understand if your initial "why you are doing this" still makes sense. Without it your small business is like a "cork in the water" just bobbing along, driven by whatever the market currents happen to be.

Determine your "end game," as early in the game as possible. Continually review it to be sure it still makes sense and then chase it with every fiber of your being!

Master Yoda knows these things. His job it is. May success be with you!

by

Categories: Small Business Exit
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