roadmap with pins

Ah, the wonder of GPS! When you type in your current location and your destination, your app gives you several routes, each of which is analyzed for time, mileage and obstructions. You’ll even get suggested alternatives while you’re driving if your app thinks you’ll save 3 minutes.

You have to think like today’s Smartphones when you’re plotting your business’s roadmap to revenue. Consider the variables that you’ll encounter on the way to your revenue destination: competition, need for resources, seasonal factors, your buyer’s own roadmaps, value, and countless economic and market place factors. Create several routes to your revenue destination that factor in a variety of variables.

One newly appointed VP of Business Development told me his revenue goal was $700 million dollars in new revenue in the next 5 years over their current $300 annual revenue. He was starting from scratch because the business development activities of the company had languished for the past year. He had in mind fractional increases. He divided $700 by 5 and started to apply resources and plans to acquire $140 million in new revenue each year. This is going straight up a route over very rough terrain, with lots of obstructions.

Because he was starting from scratch, I suggested a linear progression instead, beginning with a 10% increase over current revenue and building on that year over year. This is like a road with numerous switchbacks—slower climb and more mileage, but less risky and more likely to get you to your destination safely. Along with the linear growth, it was likely that they could identify one much larger acquisition during the 5 year period that would boost them to the $700 million goal.

What routes are you looking at for your own roadmap to revenue? Sometimes the straightest route is not the best route. Sometimes a route that has a few detours and changes of direction is lower risk and will give you a couple of early quick wins. I always find at least two, if not more, routes for any company to reach their revenue goal. When you look at several routes, and consider different fact ors or variables, you decrease the risk and increase your likelihood of reaching the goal.