Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”
So why not look to the future to see where you need to go? Try this exercise to help you plan your overall marketing efforts. It mixes a little envisioning with Sakichi Toyoda’s “5 whys” technique.
- Think of where you want you business to be in 5 years. Write down in vivid detail how your business is doing. What are you sales like? How many employees do you have? Where are you distributing your product? Describe your facilities. What are customers saying about you in social media? And don’t just think about it; actually write it down. For some reason, the act of writing, convinces your brain that it’s more real. Take your time on this. Make it as detailed as possible.
- Next, ask yourself, what did you do 4 years from now to help make all the things you envisioned in year 5 a reality? Also describe what your company is like in 4 years. Write down and describe it, as well as the actions your company took.
- Next, ask yourself, what you did 3 years from now to help make all the things you envisioned in year 4 a reality? Write it down and also describe year 3.
- Keep doing this until you get to the present.
Now you have goals and potential initiatives you should consider taking for the next 5 years. It may not be perfect and you’ll need to adjust it each year. But now you have a framework to start from. Happy adventures!