Go SMART on your strategy

Time to make changes to your business? First, assess the situation!
February 12, 2016
Tired of Useless Meetings?
February 22, 2016

Most business owners admit they would like to improve their business. Whether it is new or has existed for a long time, there is still room to make changes to help it grow.

It is the savvy business owner who is open to this self-assessment of their skills and business, to help it become as effective as it can be.

The first thing you’ll want to do is assess your needs. It can be easy – and very tempting – to jump to a conclusion and think you already know what needs to be fixed. But with deeper analysis one can often find the ideal solution to make long term changes.

To do this you’ll need the following:

  • your business plan
  • research of your business market
  • analysis of trends that affect your business
  • do a SWOT analysis (discover the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and trends)

Don’t skimp on the time spent on analysis because this is how you’ll have the information to make your decisions. Without enough discovery time or research, a business owner may not have a complete understanding of the best solution. You can wind up “solving” the wrong problem and wasting time on something that is not as critical.

Let’s talk about how you implement change. Once you’ve decided what needs to be improved, we recommend putting your needs into SMART goals.

What’s a SMART goal? This is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Your goal can be big, small, broad in scope or extremely specific. But by turning it into a SMART goal, instantly you become focused.[/idea]

Here are a few examples:

Problem: Business growth has led to more paperwork to be done and the business owner is working longer hours to complete everything.

*SMART goal Hire a part time Assistant during this quarter. Train them to complete paperwork and do other needed tasks.

Problem: Working from home has proven to be chaotic for family and business. Business growth demands moving to office space but budget is small.

*SMART goal: Talk to local business contacts to see if another business owner would share an office. Move in within the next 3 months.

Problem: Technology in the office has not kept up with current demands. Not sure how to make changes as business has grown in the past 6 months.

*SMART goal: Contact an IT specialist in the next week to get evaluation of current computers and software. See what works for budget, look into leasing or buying refurbished computers.

Another tactic business owners should look at is re-evaluating their goals. Not only is it helpful to set goals and put them into place, but you must be open to changing them. Write your goals down and keep them with your business plan. Add a fifteen to twenty minute standing appointment every month to re-evaluate your goals and note your progress, any delays or accomplishments.

It is the savvy business owner who constantly thinks of improving their business as it is the only way you continue to grow as a company.