As a business leader and owner your role is to focus on the future direction of your business. This can often be challenging as you juggle day to day tasks that can suck your time and energy. When this happens you are working ‘in’ your business not ‘on’ it and ignoring the most critical part of running a business – ensuring it’s future success.
As a business advisor, one of the most common questions I get asked is ‘How do I start thinking more strategically?’
The first step to begin thinking more strategically, is to make the time to start thinking this way. As an exercise, get out of your workplace and go to a quiet place where you will not be distracted – maybe a, not so local, café if you know what I mean. Grab your business card and place it on the table and look at it….. Look at the branding and start thinking about YOUR business, let your mind go a little. When you’re ready, answer these 7 Strategic questions about your business;
- Why do we exist?
- How will we behave?
- Where are we going?
- How will we get there?
- Where are we now?
- What is most important right ‘now’?
- Who should do what?
If you are able to answer these questions with clarity well done, you have created the first steps of your Strategic Plan. Ultimately these questions are asking you to define your purpose, values, vision, strategic objectives, priorities, action plan with a responsible person. When you can articulate what each of these critical elements are then it is likely you are steering your business in the right direction and fulfilling your role as a business leader.
If you had difficulty answering these questions, then it is likely you are working too hard ‘in’ your business and not planning enough for the future.
As business owners and leaders we have an obligation to take control and drive the future success of our business, not just leave it to hard work and hope. These 7 Strategic Questions will stimulate some thought, however they are just the beginning. To really drive your business to new levels you need to engage in a strategic planning process.
The strategic planning process provides a framework to implement strategy and measure success, helping you stay on track to achieving your goals and make quick decisions in the event you become derailed.
In our next blog I will take you through the SEIVA Strategic Planning Process in detail and break down each key element so you can start your journey towards a brighter business future.
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