As a small business owner, it seems there is always more on your “To Do” list than there are hours in the day. One important item that should not fall by the wayside is strategic thinking. Think of strategic thinking as your roadmap or GPS device. You probably wouldn’t attempt to drive to a new destination without checking a map or a GPS, if you hadn’t been there before. Neither should you try to navigate your business without strategic thinking and goals and objectives. It’s critical that you carve out time weekly to work ”on” the business, as well as “in” the business. With that in mind, here are our top 5 ways to ensure that you as a small business owner address strategic thinking in your small business:
- Meet with your advisory team (formally and/or informally) at least once per quarter.
- Focus on only 2-3 strategies at a time. Trying to address too many items at once typically leads to lack of progress on any of the goals. Targeting fewer goals helps ensure you have the bandwidth and focus to meet those objectives.
- Create a culture that fosters learning and innovation. Some of the best strategies arise from pure brainstorming sessions, without restraints and boundaries. Employees are usually quite happy about being involved in the goal setting for their companies, and frequently are just waiting to be asked about their ideas. One of the secrets that good leaders know is to learn from their team!
- Set both long-term and short-term goals and objectives, and then measure the results. Think of it as a closed loop cycle – plan, execute, measure, repeat!
- Develop a system to collect feedback from your clients. Have you asked your customers and clients lately how they feel about your products and services, and what they would like to see next? A surefire way to ensure a successful small business is to listen to your customers!
Addressing strategic thinking in your business will help you leap forward and grow your small business. Do you have additional methods to address strategic thinking in your small business? Tell us about it!