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Please Map Your Goal and USE That Map!

By: Dave Berkus


Map Your Goal

It’s time to speak of some sort of business plan. As a professional investor in early stage companies, I have long discounted long, detailed business plans in favor of a concise “executive summary” followed by a believable spreadsheet-based financial forecast projecting three to five years into the future.

Yes, everything does change between drafting that plan and its successful execution. But flying without a map of some kind seems just plain too risky.

I once joined the board of a company that was growing slowly, running beyond break-even, but had not approved a plan for the current year, let alone attempted to develop one for the next. So, the CEO had one of his own that he did not share, while the CFO had one for internal use that was never shown to the CEO or to the Board. No wonder the Board members wanted to dig in and find who was communicating with whom, and who was in charge of the map to the goal. By the way, there was no goal understood by all or agreed to by anyone. How do you compensate executives and all levels for successful accomplishments if there are no established steps toward the goal? And how do you measure a person’s contribution to an unnamed goal?

So, if you have not, create a concise map for your enterprise. Start with a reasonable goal, usually expressed as a revenue number some number of years into the near future. Assess your current resources and attempt to calculate the resources needed to accomplish the goal. Do you need to raise money, focus spending upon only core projects that advance the company toward the goal, or bring in new management talent to make it happen? Write these steps down in any form for now. We’ll explore a more organized approach in the next insights.

Published: June 16, 2017

Source: Berkonomics

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Dave Berkus

Dave Berkus is a noted speaker, author and early stage private equity investor. He is acknowledged as one of the most active angel investors in the country, having made and actively participated in over 87 technology investments during the past decade. He currently manages two angel VC funds (Berkus Technology Ventures, LLC and Kodiak Ventures, L.P.) Dave is past Chairman of the Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest angel networks in the United States. Dave is author of “Basic Berkonomics,” “Berkonomics,” “Advanced Berkonomics,” “Extending the Runway,” and the Small Business Success Collection. Find out more at Berkus.com or contact Dave at dberkus@berkus.com

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