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For Small Business Owners and Leaders
As a business leader there are always things we can do to improve. So many in fact that’s it’s hard to know where to begin. Until we visualize more concrete goals and execute a specific plan to improve ourselves we often just end the year disappointed. Let’s not let this year leave you the same leader at the end as you are at the start. Let’s improve things by planning and execution. I know you may be at a loss about where to begin. in this post I offer a few suggestions.
As the new year starts you are no doubt thinking about the tools and the strategies that can help your business grow this year. In this post I offer you a slightly different perspective. What if you made this the year that you make your business more personal, more likable, more…well….human. What if you got closer with them? I offer some ideas for how to make this happen.
A great way to start the year strong is to make sure that you have a clear and compelling story about you, your business, and your products and services. Make sure that you are telling the story you really want to tell.
But, how do you approach it? Where do you start? In this blog post, I share an approach for you to consider.
What’s a good way to get the year started off in the right direction for your business? Make sure you have clarity about where you are going and the actions it will take to get there. Here are a few helpful pointers that can help you gain some clarity to start the new year in a positive way.
One of the best ways to begin thinking about your organization’s long-term strategy is to start with a simple statement: “We believe….”. It’s eye-opening to clearly outline the organization’s fundamental beliefs – why you are in business, what challenges you see in the world, and how you plan to solve them.
I firmly believe that a big, bold vision is what motivates people. Telling your team that five years from now your organization will look pretty much the same as it is today, serve pretty much the same customers – even though the need and/or the market is growing – is pretty much NOT motivating. Your employees will do basically the same things they do today. You will not attract big investment or donor dollars. You will NOT see excitement in the marketplace. You probably won’t attract those massively talented people you want.
If you and your company have outlined a solid strategic plan and it seems to be moving at a glacier’s pace (or worse), you need to figure out why. Here are some of the biggest issues I’ve seen (and some ideas on how to beat them). Think about these and see if you as the leader are experiencing any of them:
So, your business has been successful and you want it to continue growing. Who doesn’t? But you should know that there are a number of pitfalls most growing businesses run up against. Some are things you can foresee and some are not. And many of them can be significant enough to derail your company’s growth – or even kill it completely. Here are just a few of the challenges you will probably face as your organization grows.
How many times have we approached a situation with expectations, read the signals around us, and then just lost it when our expectations and the signals we read don’t match with reality. Are we able to adjust? Are we able to get the results we want by taking a different path? Sometimes we are so married to having things go a particular way that any variation throws us off. We give up. We panic. We freak out. We shut down. As a leader, you have to read the signs around you…and then adjust your approach as needed.
I believe we should all trust our intuition more than we do. I’m not suggesting we make reckless decisions. I’m saying listen to the inputs and the advice and in the end make the decision that just feels right. And, yes, sometimes that will go against the market research or go against what brilliant (ahem) strategists might advise you to do. More often than not you will make the right decision. Trust yourself more often.