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Startup Planning by Glen Wakeman

Deciding between short term gains and long term goals is a false choice. Running a successful company doesn’t require one or the other. You have to be able to do both achieve success in the short term and position your company for success in the long terms. Shifting markets can put you out of business as easily as running out of cash, It just takes longer to realize you’re screwed.

Short term tactical planning is the normal focus Day to day can be in your face and overwhelming. That’s normal. Get it done. It can also blind you to big changes in the competitive landscape, shifts in customer needs, or major changes in underlying fundamentals. That’s a disaster. Getting screwed.

Develop a long term strategic view to provide direction It’s useful to pick your head up from time to time and to check your roadmap. Where are you exactly on your journey and does the end destination still make sense? It’s pretty hard to do this during the daily grind. But hey, that’s what weekends are for. (Your significant other may not agree). Make sure you take a breather and think about where you are headed. Make sure your company is positioned to do that. Formalize this process if you can with an annual Strategic Review of the enterprise. Use it to ask awkward questions and independently reassess your progress. Then get back on to the daily grind. But with renewed purpose. Pivot if you must. But do both: short term and long term.

Establish a budget for misses or additional investments Don’t assume your plans or pivots will work to perfection. They won’t. So be smart and save for a rainy day by baking some amount of failure into your financial plans. Set aside some room for the costs of time delays, unforeseen expenses, customer loss, investments in new capabilities. Run lean but with a margin for error. Maximize your opportunities.

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