For many years I’ve been striving to inform business owners about the value of having a business strategy. Many ignore me by telling me they have one. Most think needing more marketing to reach more customers is a business strategy. Well, that is only one step of the ladder to reaching the top to success.
Most business owners are working too hard to achieve their goals. A strategy should identify each step of managing a business and measuring success along the way. It’s like checking the temperature of your car’s engine. Will your car make it? What’s the temperature of your business? Will it make it?
Do you have a business dashboard where lights and bells go off with warning signs that you may need help with? What is on your business dashboard? Do you have one?
The basic definition of a strategy is similar to a GPS. It outlines where you are today, where you plan to go and the route you need to get there. Along the route, your GPS warns you of upcoming traffic problems, roadblocks, speed traps, and many other issues that can delay your trip. Does your business strategy warn you about upcoming business challenges? Why? Because every business has problems. There are no exceptions. What system do you have in place to warn you while you’re busy selling and serving new customers? What are the upcoming business roadblocks you may face?
If you think you already have a strategic plan, verify that it answers all of the following questions. If not, your plan may need some tweaking to build the dashboard required to manage for success.
Here are some examples of key performance indicators. Each of these should be on your business dashboard where bells and lights go off when any of these indicators are not in alignment to reach long-term goals.
Many business owners don’t want to be bothered with lots of details on managing a business. Instead of a solid strategic plan, they use hope to measure success and mainly when there is cash left over after all the bills are paid each month.
In each of my own personal businesses, I spent 50% of my time managing my business keeping an eye on my dashboard, while never taking the other eye off the goal. The other 50% of my time was spent working on acquiring new clients. That’s how I reached 7 and 8 figures in less than two years from my business launch date.
Written by Darlene Ziebell
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