I’ve understood the importance of a solid business plan for as long as I can remember. I learned those lessons early in my working life from my dad in his corner grocery store. When moving on to a more formal office job, I learned from expert leaders, who set expectations and gave me the flexibility to make them reality.
As I reflect on the history of your ATA, especially the past 20 years, it’s clear that lots of planning and hard work got us to where we are today. More recently, we underwent a formalized strategic-planning process. Along with your Board of Directors, we defined who we are and who we want to be, and then ensured our actions aligned with those definitions.
We’ll refine those items every year, and each time we evolve the plan we’ll keep your input in mind. We’ll never please everyone, but I assure you that your Board and staff will always act with the industry’s best interests in mind.
When joining ATA in 2017, I was fortunate to inherit an exceptional foundation. It would’ve been simple to ride past success and see what happened, but that’s not my nature. Experience taught me that sitting tight tends to speed organizations to failure. Maybe it’s my sales-leadership history, but I try to behave as if we’re in second place. Chasing that top spot, no matter what the data says, benefits any business.
As we close out 2019, prepare to convene in Indy for #ATA2020, and look ahead to the next fiscal year beginning April 1, I focus on how to continuously improve your ATA. The driving message behind my focus is simple. Our goal is achieving an organization that industry members want to join and engage.
We strive to help each business thrive in the archery and bowhunting communities. Photo Credit: ATA
Our process involves virtually every ATA Board and staff member. It’s important that we hear from a wide range of voices. We must ensure goals in one area support efforts elsewhere. If you’re one of our vast majority of members with only a few employees – or just you alone – you might wonder if these goals apply to your business. I encourage you to take this effort seriously. Business and strategic planning can feel intimidating, but the payoff is huge. If you’re unsure where to start, check out your ATA Resource site. A quick search for business plans will deliver a one-page document that helps you start. That simple document might spark a thought that helps your business in the new year, even for seasoned business people with years of planning experience.
Reach out to us for any help regarding your business or visit our Resource Website. Photo Credit: ATA
Many businesses make the common mistake of creating a plan and then shelving it to gather dust. No person, and certainly no business, makes perfect decisions every time. Similarly, a plan that doesn’t challenge the business a bit, and comes up short occasionally, probably isn’t the best plan. Look at your ATA just this year. We’re trying many new things inside and outside the Show. Some of those plans will succeed, while others fall short. Either way, our bottom line is we’re trying hard because that’s what ATA members demand. If an effort fails, we won’t just write it off and move on. We’ll request feedback, study what we did or didn’t do, and take another shot. That kind of sounds like archery and bowhunting, come to think of it.
If you need more help to get started, please contact us. Wendy Lang and Kurt Smith are tremendous resources, but any one of your ATA staff will happily point you in the right direction. If you’re traveling to Indy, be sure to check our expanded educational opportunities. I also welcome you to stop any of us and request help. That’s why we’re here.
To each of our members, I offer sincere appreciation for your support. On behalf of your staff and Board of Directors, we’re grateful to have you here. We extend our best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2020!
WE ARE HERE TO HELP THE INDUSTRY, TO HELP INDIVIDUAL BUSINESSES GET THE MOST OUT OF THE INDUSTRY, AND TO HELP YOU.