The first article in this series listed more than 25 tactics to increase your business success, all of them based on my experience. I started with nothing and didn’t get to college, so I know you can achieve maximum success, regardless of your education. E-mail me to get the first article or any of the other articles in the series. Each of the articles after the first takes a closer look at one of the tactics.
This article is about thinking strategically. I know it sounds easy, and we presume that we always do this, but that’s not the case. There are books on the subject, and training courses. Many folks just don’t think like this.
I call one of my tools the upside downside test. It sounds easy, but it takes discipline to pause for a moment to consider the upsides and downsides of a position or plan. Sometimes you can do the tests in your brain in seconds, but sometimes you are forced to pause as you don’t have all the information to make an informed decision. When you see boards in action, or serve on one, you see a lot of this.
Another tool I use is to pause and think what the ultimate goal of my action or plan is. Again, this can take a lot of discipline, and may require information from others. It can be as simple as defining IN ADVANCE how you will define success, vs just doing something and then trying to justify why it was successful. Once you understand the ultimate goal is, you can think about the steps and likely bumps along the way. Understanding the “bumps” can help you plan.
For instance if your ultimate goal is to get rid of Johnny Smith, your delivery driver, think about how to get there. How will he respond to a written warning? Will he quit? (likely a good thing) or will he find a way to worm out of the issue, if that’s how you think he will react, then it can affect how you word the first warning, so that he can’t get away from a second warning.
Defining success in advance is a must for many items. For instance if you are going to exhibit at a trade show, what will you get out of that effort that will make it a success, and justify the cost and effort. How many prospects do you want to gather contact info from? How many actual sales (if any) do you want? What will your prospect acquisition cost be? And your customer acquisition cost? Or are you just going to do it and hope for the best, and then justify why it was a good deal. Involving employees in this planning gets them focused on how to make the event is a success, and if it’s a failure, next year everyone won’t be asking you to do it again.
You simply must build a discipline to stop and think before virtually every decision or action, how will this decision affect the next thing? And then what will happen? Then what will happen? …then what will the result be? Is that the result I want? If not how can I influence it NOW with strategic planning instead of having to deal with it later?
Remember only you can make business great!
Ron Sturgeon, Mr. Mission Possible, has been a successful business owner for more than 35 years. As a small business consultant, he can deliver wisdom and advice gleaned from an enviable business career that started when he opened a VW repair business as a homeless 17-year-old and culminated in the sale of several businesses he built to Fortune 500 companies.
Ron has helped bankers, lawyers, insurance agents, restaurant owners, and body shop owners, as well as countless salvage yard owners to become more successful business people. He is an expert in helping small business owners set the right business strategies, implement pay-for- performance, and find new customers on the web.
As a consultant, Ron shares his expertise in strategic planning, capitalization, compensation, growing market share, and more in his signature plainspoken style, providing field-proven, and high-profit best practices well ahead of the business news curve. Ron is the author of nine books, including How to Salvage More Millions from Your Small Business.
To inquire about consulting or keynote speaking, contact Ron at 817-834-3625, ext. 232, rons@MrMissionPossible.com, 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117.