In many of my blogs I talk about the power of vision and strategy, both are vital ingredients to building a sustainable and successful business. In recent months I have been forced to reflect and think about the other half of the success equation – sorting out the pressing issues of today to ensure there is a tomorrow. My involvement with a wide range of younger businesses over many years (as well as my own experience) has almost ignited a sort of indifference to strategy – an abused term, pretty meaningless to a small business trying to make its way and survive its first five years.
My view is that management books and very often training courses can leave the entrepreneur feeling like a rabbit staring into the headlights. Such learning resources can lead individuals to losing sight of what business is all about. Having written two books myself and spending hours upon end preaching to entrepreneurs about the ingredients of growth, I am as guilty as anyone.
I try to make the message of growing a business very simple, however, talking about it is far easier than making it happen. So here is my point, I wish more entrepreneurs would focus on “execution, doing, getting stuck in, wearing out the shoe leather, conducting controlled experiments, trial and error, just do it”…..and any other word/phrase that ultimately means getting the job done. YCDBSOYA is the acronym that sums up what I mean…You Cant Do Business Sitting on your Arse.
Strategy and direction emerges from living in your customers world and taking action, what evolves from this philosophy is a deeper insight to your markets and customers – positive things start to happen . Sort out today by:
1.Focusing on what you are really good at
2.Keeping an eye on next quarters invoice projections and work in progress
3.Spending 70% of your time connecting with customers (sales cures all)
4.Ensuring you are up to date with HMRC
5.Making sure more cash is going in the till than going out
6.Ensuring your invoices have been paid on time
7.Customers love what you are doing and staff are looked after
8.You have a healthy pipeline of quotations
9.Cash in the bank (make sure profit quickly turns into cash)
10. Have a mentor who can sense check points 1-9
The above does not sound like strategy, its business basics, but believe me I have seen so many smart entrepreneurs who have attended every course in the catalogue (many with business qualifications) just focusing on the wrong things. Sorting out today very often leads to a successful tomorrow.