What will your sales be next month? Which customers are most likely to interact with your business over the coming months? What tools and resources will your business need access to? These are the types of questions that forward thinking entrepreneurs are always asking of themselves and their team. A well run business is able to predict what it needs ahead of schedule and ensures they have the people and resources available to service their customers and grow their bottom line profits.
No ones blames an entrepreneur that isn’t thinking ahead. Running a business requires that an entrepreneur be capable of managing many different priorities at the same time which doesn’t leave much time for planning ahead and adjusting accordingly. Just because entrepreneurs are busy doesn’t mean they shouldn’t take time to look down the road and anticipate what is going to happen. I think entrepreneurs enjoy living in the moment but I also think that successful entrepreneurs are able to describe where their business is now, where it is going and what it specifically needs to do to reach its goals. While these same entrepreneurs may not always hit the target, they are able to learn from where they over/under estimated and adjust as they go. Entrepreneurs that live in the moment tend to operate businesses that rise and fall with the general market place or seasonality of their product or service offering. There is nothing wrong with taking life one day at a time but planning for the future is a positioning exercise – positioning for success.
BMW made an announcement that they locked up more than $11 billion worth of battery cells from Chinese battery cell manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. and Samsung SDI that they will use between 2020 and 2031. BMW also announced the i4 which will be their first electric mid-size sedan in a line-up that will include 25 different electric vehicles by 2023. BMW believes that global sales for electric vehicles will continue to increase and has made plans to ensure they have access to the components they will need to meet demand. The investment being made in the electric car ecosystem by BMW has provided growth opportunities for suppliers of the components needed, including batteries and drivetrains. This means BMW is positioning itself to be successful in what it believes is an inevitable shift in the market and they don’t want to be left behind.
While you may not be looking to purchase $11 billion worth of batteries, there is a lesson here for entrepreneurs. Looking ahead and planning your future can have many benefits. By consistently taking the time to think through what your business will need this year, next year and in the future, you will be positioning your business for success. A secondary benefit of always looking ahead is that your business may discover opportunities to be a leader once new trends or changes in the market begin to appear. It can be risky betting on the future but it can also be risky to ignore it. Which risk are you taking with your business?