Rick Meekins is the Managing Partner at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy, an Atlanta, GA based small business consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations.
A New Year is Approaching. Do You Know Where Your Business Is?
Your strategy is your plan for accomplishing a particular goal vision. If you have a restaurant, for example, a particular strategy you might work on is how to increase revenue. You might try to increase table turns or raise prices or start any number of marketing endeavors. The question is: “As a small business owner, how do I get time to create or even work on a strategy?” As a small business owner, it is VITAL that you put aside time for this every week. Strategy is the lifeblood of your business that keeps it going every day. While making time is impossible, taking time to work on your strategy is like taking time to eat. Here are a few tips:
- Make yourself a weekly schedule of different activities you will do centered around growing your business – for example, we take two hours of “off-line” time – time when aren’t actively involved in the business, and dedicate it as “strategy time,” and have it set up as an appointment in our calendar software – in this case Microsoft Outlook. What you would do during this time is: Review your company vision. Review your strategies. Review your plan. Work your plan.
- Give yourself a timeline so that you don’t get stuck in any particular area, especially the planning area (you need to WORK the plan!).
- Make goals and make them BOLD!! – Keep yourself engaged and challenged to do what you do every day.
- Make your goals MANAGEABLE! – while your goals should be bold, they should be those that you can reasonably accomplish so that you don’t get discouraged.
- Use your resources! – Friends, business associates, outsourcing, etc.
- Give yourself a time frame – starting and ending dates for each milestone will help keep things in perspective.
- Make sure you can look at every milestone and say to yourself, “this is what it looked like before, and this is what it will look like when it is done” and be able to note the difference.
- Be accountable to yourself – share your goals/plans with a business associate, mentor, or with your group.