We said in our blog post If You Don't Plan For Growth Now, You'll Hate Yourself Later that "all small businesses need to plan for growth to increase their chances of long-term success". It's an important fact and one that other writers elsewhere agree with as well. Jeff Shurford says, "If you want to increase your odds of long-term success as a small business owner, it's time to get strategic with your approach to growth."
Consider these five points about how you can plot for your best future, they may just save your business.
First of all, time is likely your most precious asset. A small business owner needs to be strategic about how they use their time. Just like how you should avoid wasting money in your small business, you should also avoid wasting time.
Because there is always something urgent competing for your time, it is important to separate our the emergencies from the simply urgent. Emergencies are things that need to be addressed immediately, while urgent items can be prioritized. Therefore, take a step back to ask yourself. Is this something that has to happen right now or can it wait?
As a result, you may find that not everything is an emergency. If you find that everything truly is an emergency, you may need to re-look at your business model because something isn't working.
Focusing on growth is one of the best ways to increase a small business owner's long-term success. Thus, if you are constantly fighting fires, you won't have the time.
While you may need to spend some money in order to learn, you still can be strategic in the choices that you make.
Start with asking yourself: Is this marketing tactic or strategy focused on your target audience? How efficiently is it in reaching them? Is your message impactful? What is the conversion rate?
You likely won't know the answer to these questions before you start, but if you measure your results versus your spend you will. Making sure every dollar is working hard for you will definitely increase the small business owner's chances of long-term success. Having a solid marketing plan will also help.
What is a SMART goal? A smart goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Smartsheet.com has an excellent template for writing smart goals. Measured goals are usually met. Why? It's simple. Because you are measuring them, you are making them a priority. In addition, they are also more easily analyzed to determine what went right versus what when wrong.
Plus, focusing on what went right and fixing what went wrong will definitely increase a small business owner's chance of long-term success.
Start building your network early. There are plenty of technological tools to help, but they are only useful if they are truly used to build connections. Therefore, just having followers isn't enough.
Meaningful connections will help you drive business today. They will also buffer you during economic downturns. Therefore, small owner's chances of long-term success increase by having a strong network.
Taking a step back to consistently to see what others are doing is extremely helpful because it's important to know what your competition is doing.
We write this daily blog because we use it as our means of benchmarking. It allows us to stay abreast of trends in the industry. If we see something new, we ask ourselves if are we doing this. If we are not, we see how we might incorporate it into our business. Next, we explore if there a way our clients can incorporate it into theirs.
It is important to stay on top of trends and developments in your industry. By doing so, a small business owner's chance of long-term success will definitely increase.
In summary, as a small business, we've found these 5 simple hacks to be extremely helpful. Consequently, we believe that they can help any small business owner's chances of long-term success. We've helped many small business owners increase their chances of long-term success, and we'd love the opportunity to help you.
Brian Cairns, CEO of Prostrategix Consulting. Over 25 years of business experience as a corporate executive, entrepreneur, and small business owner. For more information, please visit my LinkedIn profile