I work with a lot of small businesses who believe that Strategy is for “the big guys”. But what they don’t understand is that strategy does not have to be complicated. You do not need a Harvard MBA to create a strategic plan for your business. But you do need to take the time to sit down and examine your business, be honest about what’s working and what’s not and create some realistic goals for the future. Whether you are a company of 1 or 100, having a roadmap and plan on how you are going to get there is important. You don’t have to know exactly how you are going to achieve it…but you have to know the steps you are going to take to start the journey and how you will adjust along the way.
“Successful Strategy is about making the right decisions about what not to do.”
– Jaime Adam
Here are a few steps that I recommend every small business owner take:
- Be honest with yourself
Assess what you enjoy doing and what you are good at and then find others to help with those things you are not.
- Look at your business from the outside in
At least twice a year, you should spend dedicated time examining your business from the outside in like an investor or Board of Directors would.
- Create a plan
I don’t care if it’s on the back of a napkin hung up in your office or a formal strategic road map, but create something! Make it visible to yourself and your employees so you all know what you are working towards – I call it the “North Star” for your business. It’s not a destination but a guiding point as you make decisions about your business.
- Make decisions
The biggest mistake I see small business owners make is the fear of making decisions. Making no decision is much worse than making the wrong decision and course correcting once you realize it. Make decisions, follow your gut and then monitor and adjust if needed.
I hope these tips help you think about your business a bit differently. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to further discuss how I can help you put these and other tips into practice to transform your business.