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Business owners face many decisions. It's an everyday activity that you do without much thought.
Six streets come together to form a big intersection near my home. One street leads to downtown. Another goes off to the Interstate highway. A third will take me to the supermarket. The others disappear into local neighborhoods.
Approaching this intersection, you must know ahead of time where you want to go. Waiting until you get there is not a good option.
So it is with business decisions. You frequently face big--and unexpected--intersections.
Example: Sue designs women's clothing. As a child she learned to sew and made multiple outfits for dolls. She went on to get a degree in design and established her business following a detailed business plan she had developed. When she got a proposal to join a major corporation heading up the company's design team, Sue turned it down without a second thought. When another company offered Sue a big contract to produce the company's line of fashions, she declined. Both of these offers would have led Sue into areas inconsistent with her plan to build her own dream business.
Example: Steve is an attorney who joined a big law firm. Dissatisfied, Steve left the firm and tacked his shingle to the door of his own small office. He saw an opportunity to become the go-to attorney for workers compensation cases. It has proved to be a valuable basis for his new practice. He handles other cases, but his dream is being realized.
Example: Marta is a second generation Italian-American. When she discovered that she was gluten intolerant, she went into action. From family contacts, Marta found that wheat flours from Italy did not affect her digestion. She made arrangements to import Italian flour and she offered these on her new website. She expanded by offering Italian cheeses, spices, even tomatoes. Marta supplies specialty food stores, restaurants and private parties. Now she is coming to a fork in the road. To grow to the next level, Marta will need a significant cash infusion. She could sell out to a big company, or go the investor route, or she could continue and grow more slowly. Marta is at a crossroads.
Your business plan helps you decide ahead of time which street you take when the intersection looms. The basic decision is still yours.