We’ve all heard “ready, aim, fire,” as the instructions for hitting a target.  We often use it as a metaphor in business.  The first stage is ready.  What does it mean to be ready?

In business, ready is preparation. Target is the goal setting. Fire is the execution of the plan.

Consider target shooting as a metaphor.  Readiness is familiarity with the terrain, knowing the firearm you are using, and setting a firm base.

Too often, especially in small companies, we breeze past the first step presuming we are ready.  After all, we are what we are.  But this makes it especially difficult to hit the target, or in some cases, impossible.

Let’s take these readiness concepts and apply them to business.

Be familiar with the terrain.  Target shooters prepare by learning the distance, the elevation, the lighting, wind currents, or other things that may affect the shot.  In business, the terrain is your industry, market, customer needs and wants, and competitors and substitutes.  And the knowledge needs to be current, not how things used to be.

Know with the firearm.  A target shooter knows the mechanics, operation, strengths, and weaknesses of the gun they will use to set the proper firing plan.  You must have the same knowledge of your organization, capabilities, talents, strengths, and weaknesses.  Be willing to confront the brutal facts, as taught by Jim Collins in the best-selling business manifesto Good to Great.

Setting a firm base.  A firm base is a steady and comfortable stance a target shooter takes before attempting a shot.  Within your business, you create a firm base with communication and organization.  Making sure your entire team has clarity, is in alignment, and is prepared for the task ahead.

Bring ready is knowing your purpose, refocusing on your WHY.  The best practice is having the discipline of staying ready.  But if you don’t, a lack of readiness at the outset makes it more difficult, or even impossible, for an organization to hit their targets.

And if you are among the many of us who are starting to pivot your business, the WHY doesn’t change.  If you’d like to talk about this more, click here to set up a date and time.




“Before everything else,
getting ready is the secret of success.”

– Henry Ford

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