Are you facing more competition or declining profits? Is your business not growing the way you expected? Do you know what you are going to do about it? Just worrying about your business and hoping things will get better on their own won’t change anything. Hope is not a strategy. The reality is that if you want to improve or grow your business, you must take steps to make it happen.
- Understand your current situation. You can’t move forward if you don’t know where you are now. Get your books in order so you can analyze your financial and business condition. Your current financial picture will affect your priorities, budget and goals for the future.
- Develop a plan. Proper planning is essential to every business. Once you have the right data on where you stand today, you can determine where you are headed if you do nothing and what it will take to get you where you want to be in the future. Work with your financial and executive team to explore possible strategies and model the short- and long-term impact of your business plan.
- Take action. You will be faced with choices – different options for increasing revenue and cutting costs. As a business owner, it’s up to you to make the final decision. Be careful about overthinking your options or letting fear of making the wrong decision paralyze you. A plan is of no use if it is never implemented. There is no solution without risk and no path that makes everyone happy. Your job is to make the best-informed decision.
- Measure results. Once you implement your plan, you must monitor your progress. There are many different measures of success so work with your financial and business team to make sure you have established the right metrics.
- Adjust as needed. There is a good chance you won’t get it all right the first time. Even the best laid plans can hit problems. Be prepared to re-evaluate all or parts of your plan if it isn’t working. Have some flexibility so if necessary, you can make changes. However, make sure you really give the plan time to work and allocate appropriate resources to it.
- Keep planning for the future. Business planning never stops. Even if your current strategy is going well, what about next year or 3 or 5 years down the road? You can’t rest on your successes.
Hope is important when it motivates you to take action. However,
you can’t rely on wishes alone to get you where you want to be with your
business. Are you ready for the next step?