"Your actions speak so loudly, I cannot hear what you are saying." That was Ralph Waldo Emerson's take on priorities. As small business entrepreneurs, we can talk a good game. But, can we successfully execute the plays that guarantee a win?
Ask a small business owner, "how are things going" and you'll likely hear "okay". This means things aren't going as planned. Occasionally, the atypical case exists when "things" are planned and events trigger a change to plans made. However, if things aren't going as planned, it's because many small business owners haven't taken the time to plan.
Remember your first days on email? Remember? They were glorious! At the click of a button we could communicate anytime day or night. Ahhh, those were the days! Today, we lose roughly 2.1 hours (28% of our day) to the interruption and distraction of an ineffective strategy for email. It's time we make email our BFF.
Most psychology or business books don't tell you the many unknown -- and essential -- reasons your business needs goals. Business goals keep you focused and on track. They provide a way to measure your progress. And, goals provide inspiration long after the mood in which you set them has passed. All in all, the benefits are obvious.
An overarching 3-5 year strategic plan for your small business, although essential for business growth, can be cumbersome. As entrepreneurs performing in a "distraction economy", it's easy to lose focus of what needs to be accomplished "now" to reach the strategic milestones of the long-range strategic plan. That's why small business planning conducted quarterly is essential to keep you focused and on track.