These days, it seems that we can’t go anywhere without first consulting our Global Positioning Systems (GPS) in our cars or our phones. It is simple, just four steps:

  1. Turn on your device.
  2. Tell it where you want to go.
  3. Tell it where you are.
  4. Follow the directions/route.

If there is a traffic jam, a detour or construction delay and I decide to go around the bottleneck, it will recalculate and guide me to my destination using a different route. Is this a wonderful world or what?

Since we have become so accustomed to this modern electronic marvel that we use it almost without thinking, I am amazed that so few business owners, executives, and managers use the same principle to help guide their businesses.  In theory, it is much the same process.  Here are four directions.

  1. Turn on device (brain).
  2. Determine what you want your business to become in the future (Vision).
  3. Know where / what your business is currently (Mission and Financial Statements).
  4. Create a route to take you from the place you currently are to where you want to get to.

And if there is a need to take a detour because of market conditions (change in customer preferences, increased competition, or other market conditions) we recalculate our strategy, timelines, financing, staffing needs, etc.

Yes, there are differences. The GPS you use for driving directions does all the calculating, figuring the many options and determining the most likely strategy for getting to your destination most efficiently — while you and your team of advisers are the calculator for your business GPS.

So imagine you are getting in your car to head out into the future, except now we are talking about your business. Instead of fastening the seat belt, you get comfy in your desk chair. Instead of turning the key in the ignition, you start up your computer. The GPS asks for your destination and you write down where you want your business to be in one year, five years, 10 years…

Have a good, safe trip!


Larry Galler works with business owners to create management and marketing breakthroughs. Sign up to subscribe to his weekly newsletter and newspaper column at