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Planning for the Future4:00 with Paul Boag
Designers often get so caught up in day-to-day work that they don't think about the future of their business. Take steps to stay focused and not overstretch.
So last few thoughts I want to leave you with before we 0:00 move on from this area of creating new business 0:02 is planning for the future and thinking about the future. 0:05 The trouble is you can get so caught up with the day to day work of dealing 0:09 with clients and all their problems and the challenges of keeping 0:13 up-to-date with the latest web techniques that we don't spend enough 0:17 time to think about the future of all businesses. 0:21 We need to be really careful that we plan our businesses properly 0:24 and we're always looking ahead to the next step. 0:29 So, is it really important to stay focus and not to over stretched yourselves 0:32 that we can get so ambitious with our plans sometimes 0:38 and start so many different things that we never follow through. 0:41 So there is a balance to be struck here. 0:45 With planning for the future, trying new stuff, but also not over stretching ourselves. 0:48 The key here is to set aside regular time to think strategically 0:55 about where we're going with our business. 1:00 It's so hard to do but so incredibly important. 1:03 So let's take a moment to consider how we go about setting aside that time 1:08 and what we do with that time when we have it. 1:12 The first piece of advice I would provide 1:16 is consider getting an outside perspective. 1:18 At our company, we have a nonexecutive director 1:21 that is not involved in the day to day work of our web design agency at all. 1:24 Instead, we get him in to provide a fresh perspective. 1:29 This has a couple of benefits. 1:33 First of all, it means that there are designated times when he is coming in 1:36 that we have to stop day to day work and think strategically 1:40 about the future direction of the company. 1:44 The second benefit is he encourages us to think in ways 1:47 that we've never thought before. 1:51 Because he is outside of the business, he provides a perspective 1:53 that we can never have if somebody that works day to day in the business. 1:56 He provides that different perspective you need, and you need to find 2:00 somebody that does view the world very differently to you. 2:04 For example, the person that we have is our known executive director. 2:08 He is used to working with companies that have an exit strategy, 2:13 that build up and then they're sold off by the owners. 2:17 So we are very different for him because we run a lifestyle business. 2:20 But, he is constantly challenging us to maybe be more 2:26 ambitious in our plans for the business. 2:29 So having someone with a different perspective is hugely useful. 2:32 Another piece of advice when it comes to planning for the future 2:35 is to stay flexible. 2:39 It's so easy to get entrenched in ways of working. 2:42 And see you always need to keep an eye out and ask yourself, 2:45 Are the things that I've done in the past still relevant in the future? 2:48 For example, it's so easy to get so deeply entrenched with the particular technology 2:53 or particular way of working that when something new and radical comes along 2:59 it's too much for us to cope with. 3:03 Maintaining that flexibility is the secret to running a successful business long term. 3:05 You also need to be willing to take calculated risks. 3:11 We've done so many things as a company where we've tried new areas 3:15 where we branched out into different directions. 3:21 Some of those have succeeded but I have to be honest, 3:23 a lot of them have failed and you need to do it anyway. 3:27 Don't let failure demoralize you. 3:31 Make sure you've got good cash reserves behind you to 3:36 support you when do make mistakes. 3:38 And you'll be fine. 3:41 Winston Churchill said the best quote that I love more than anything else 3:43 and I apply it everyday when I think about growing my business. 3:47 The quote was "Success is going from failure to failure 3:52 with no loss of enthusiasm." 3:57
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