Last week, our senior leadership team at Outdoor Living Brands met for two days offsite in a board room at the School of Business at Virginia Commonwealth University for a strategic planning session.  As the franchisor of Archadeck, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and Mosquito Squad, we are regularly encouraging our franchisees to “work on their business, not just in their business”.  After all, how will any of us reach our business goals if we don’t first spend time to plan our desired future, then actively managing our progress against the key intermediate metrics in our plan? We “preach” this message to our franchisees, but we are also putting it into action in our organization!

We have spent time this year working with the franchise leadership groups in the Archadeck and Outdoor Lighting Perspectives Systems to discuss where we want these businesses to be in 3-5 years. As always, we get great ideas from our dedicated franchisees that serve on the front lines of building their companies everyday! Last week, we began to rollup this information into a long-term strategic plan for our entire organization and franchise systems. In addition to building off the input from our franchisees, we involved both our entire senior leadership team and our board of directors/shareholders. Our efforts were guided by an outside expert that has assisted many companies through a strategic planning process.  

Now, the real work starts!  As our facilitator said, success is 1% strategy and 99% execution. As the company’s overall leader, it is my responsibility to make sure we have clear alignment across our leadership team and organization with our business goals. Once we do, based on the talent we have in place, execution will follow. We are now working to clear set the short- and intermediate-term goals in order to stay on track with our longer-term goals.

While our efforts have been at the corporate level, the process applies equally well to one’s personal lives. If you are not where you want to be from a personal, career or financial perspective, have you set short- and intermediate-term goals for yourself?  Can you reach your goals without making changes in your life and career?  As you ask yourself these fundamental questions, I suggest that you explore if investing in a franchise could be a vehicle for you to reach your goals.  Whether it is one of our franchise concepts or not, franchising is a wonderful way to get into business for yourself, but yet have the support of a proven franchisor and network of franchisee peers to improve your chances of success.  If you want to make positive change in your life and take control over your career and future, I urge you to explore franchising.