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Business Mastery

Throw Out Your Business Plan

Create a Business Map

Posted by: Team Tony

“The only true competitive advantage in today’s changing market and economy is not having a business plan, but a business map that can take you from where you are to where you want to be.” – Tony Robbins

The pace of change in the professional world has accelerated to the point where a business plan is no longer enough to plot the future of your company with any certainty. Disruptive technologies or unexpected competitors can come along and displace your business overnight. With things moving so quickly in the digital world, how do you position your business in this hyper-competitive environment? You create a Business Map.

This is force #1 of the 7 Forces of Business Mastery: Create an Effective Business Map.

To create an effective business map, you must first ask yourself these questions:

1. WHAT BUSINESS AM I IN?

And then drill a little deeper. For instance, what business is Starbucks in? Most people would say the coffee business. But ask Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and he will likely tell you about his trip to Italy, where he saw people eagerly meeting in cafes before and after work. He saw the promise of a transitional meeting place between home and work, and that was the seed that grew into Starbucks. He knew his business was about creating an experience, not just delivering coffee. Starbucks is now a global phenomenon because its founder knew the store would thrive if positioned as an inviting meeting space, not just another coffee bar.

The next two questions are:

2. WHAT BUSINESS AM I REALLY IN? and 3. HOW IS BUSINESS?

How is this useful? Back in the early 1900s, if railroad companies in the U.S. realized that they were really in the transportation business, not the railroad business, they could have prevented the entire industry from going bankrupt as the trucking industry took over. Having a business map really means framing your business in terms that enable you to see opportunities (and threats) that you might otherwise overlook. In this way, a business map is more comprehensive than a business plan, and more accommodating, as it allows for changes and obstacles along the way. Knowing what business you’re really in means having a deep and thorough understanding of your customer and the value they gain from you.

Once you really understand how to consistently offer more value than anyone else in your market, you’re in a better position to identify where you are now, and what it will take to get to where you want to be. You’ll have more certainty about what areas of your business needs to grow now, and you’ll be better able to steer your organization in accordance with that vision. Most importantly, you’ll understand what business you need to be in to become the dominant force in your market.

4. WHY DID YOU GET INTO THIS BUSINESS ORIGINALLY? WHY ARE YOU IN IT NOW?

Running a business takes a lot of energy if you’re going to make it truly successful. That energy can get worn out, but if you have a reason and a vision behind your business that you’re truly passionate about, you’ll be able to stay focused and succeed. This vision can be nearly anything, but to be truly empowering, it has to ensure that you’re serving a greater cause than yourself. Harness that passion to keep you moving forward.

5. WHO ARE YOU? WHO IS YOUR CURRENT CLIENT? WHAT DOES YOUR CLIENT NEED?

Are you a skilled producer? Are you a manager? Are you an entrepreneur? Align your true nature with your role to better serve your clients and your business. Harness your leadership skills and determine what type of leader you are. This will enable you to better assess your strengths and serves the needs of your internal team and clients. Then, think about the very real client who you currently serve and what they need from you. What can your business specifically provide for them? How can you enhance their lives in some way?

6. WHERE ARE YOU – IN THE ECONOMY, IN THE INDUSTRY, IN YOUR COMPANY? HOW DO YOU NEED TO PREPARE FOR THE NEXT SEASON?

In order to succeed, it is vital that you do the right thing at the right time. The most important thing you can do is understand where you are now and identify current opportunities. Be objective when assessing your current role in the market, and then begin thinking about what you need to do to get ahead of the curve for next season.

7. WHAT’S NEXT?

Create a compelling future for your business. Strive to always make progress and work as a strategic innovator. At Business Mastery, Tony will help you define a clear map – your business GPS – so you can stay on track and achieve your business goals in the shortest possible amount of time.

Take your business to the next level with Tony Live at Business Mastery