What the hell are you doing? Wake up! Smell the roses! This is your drill instructor here! Get in touch with reality! Your business is going nowhere without you really working ON it! And I don’t mean servicing your clients and doing busy stuff like admin -- that’s the stuff that will keep you where you are: tired and fed up, overworked and overwhelmed, underpaid and underappreciated, frustrated and desperate.
What I mean is the strategic stuff to get your business to the next level. Engaged on the new processes that will make you more efficient. Engaged on innovating your product or service to differentiate. Building a top class brand and a marketing strategy to increase your reach and market share.
Remember: awesome ideas are a dime a dozen. The actual execution is what will make all the difference.
Put HASTE in Your Business
Have a strategy, then execute. Simple, right? Well, not exactly. There’s a lot that goes into this premise and it starts with prioritizing your business, not all the extraneous stuff that bogs you down.
When you work for an evolving business, you know better than anyone else that coming up with a great strategy is one thing, but executing it is a whole different story. As an entrepreneur just looking to stay afloat and make some money, you likely rank "strategy execution" ahead of 100 other company concerns. But if you’re like many other similar entrepreneurs, you likely find yourself struggling or failing to execute the plans you took so long to envision. You’re not alone, but you do have to get yourself out of that rut. The alternative is not good.
Lack of proper planning is one of the biggest reasons small companies fail and go out of business, says Small Business Trends. All too often, entrepreneurs focus too much on achieving their dream of financial independence yet fail to take the painstaking but necessary steps of crafting and carrying out a strategic business plan. A failure to act is the worst kind of failure because it wastes good brainpower and intelligence. Good intentions won’t get you where you need to be. Follow-through and persistence will.
It’s time to stop working and start engaging!
Engage Your Team in a Meaningful Way
The road to accountability begins with engagement. Like we discussed in last month’s blog, “The Lonely Life of a Small Business Owner,” you have to help yourself by embracing the art of delegation. Give your team clear and open access to your plan, provide clarity on individual initiatives, and gift them with the tools they need to effectively produce, align and report, advises Inc.
When everybody has all of the information, it allows each individual to accomplish their own unique jobs, becoming infinitely more informed about how to creatively solve the problems put in their path. Bonus: when you empower your team to do more of the small picture stuff, you can concentrate on big picture stuff.
Pay Close Attention to What Your Plan is Telling You NOT to Do
When you lay out your plan, you get a clearer idea of what your resources should be, how they should be deployed and what your project priorities should be. The ability to set clear strategic priorities is critical. But in order to effectively align team members behind each initiative, you have to take the brave step of putting other projects on the back burner. Running full throttle on all initiatives all at once is the breeding ground for burnout.
A successfully-implemented strategic plan rests just as much on a foundation of what you didn't do, as what you did do.
Know When to Pull the Trigger
Every year, thousands of entrepreneurs come up with great ideas. And every year, they spend fruitless hours creating and re-creating detailed business plans. What happens? Well, often times, most of that effort goes to waste as they fail to follow through on their own plans. They know how to plan; they don’t know how or when to pull the trigger.
Sadly, many organizations craft great strategies but they lack the follow through necessary to bring the plan to the next level. In fact, 80 percent of them fail at the execution branch of the strategy, says Entrepreneur. Here’s a quick overview of what you can do to ensure your plan stays on track.
- Set clear priorities: It’s likely you will fail in carrying out your strategy if you set too many priorities. Establish one priority at a time, as well as smaller, supporting initiatives.
- Collect and analyze data: You know you have to specify measurable goals in your initial strategic plans, but don’t just put those on a shelf somewhere and forget about them. The key to ensuring execution is to stay on top of your results. Develop key performance indicators that you can measure and monitor on an ongoing basis.
- Meet often to check in: Without continual communication, your team will lose touch with your goals and objectives, eventually veering off course and leading to poor results. Sync up your vision and strategic plan by keeping team members up to date on progress. Hold daily huddles each day for just 15 minutes to make sure everyone is on the same page. Even if you’re so small that you don’t have any employees yet, set aside a few minutes each day to go over your plan, make sure you’re still on track, and bolster your resolve.
In the end, execution done right is a disciplined process, comprised of a logical set of connected activities by YOU to make YOUR strategy work.
There’s really only one way to do all of this and that is to get someone to show you how. That someone is an INFIX small business coach: to guide and teach you how to strategize for the future, and then manage and track you through executing the plan. Sign up for a free 30-minute consultation today!