If you’re like most of those that have an entrepreneurial mindset, coming up with great ideas is second nature to you. You know what your agency/business should be doing, where it should be going, and most likely your thoughts as to why and how it should get there. But here’s the question you need to answer honestly… Who else knows about it? What actions are you taking to ensure your organization understands your ideas and how they are going to get there?
Time and time again, I work with clients that are SO clear on what needs to be happening, but they just cannot find “time” to put pen to paper. OR they put pen to paper but that hard-worked-for and well-thought-out strategic plan collects dust.
So, don’t let it.
But how, you ask?
1. Stop Making Excuses. The truth is, taking a long, hard look at your business can be intimidating and scary. Try asking yourself the question, “What happens if I don’t do this?” Chances are, you’ll end up year after year saying how you know you need to do this, but just can’t find the time.
Want to hear something scarier? That competitor down that street that IS doing their planning and implementation will be soaring past you before you can blink an eye.
2. Prioritize Your Time. Take a look at where you’re spending the majority of it. Most likely, you’ve got an hour or two in which the world will NOT end if you’re not in the office.
Take that time to work on the future of your business. Put your Out of Office on, let your staff know (or include them), and get yourself together. You, your business, and your employees deserve clarity.
Additionally, once you take a good look at where you’re spending your time, you most likely will find you’re spending a decent amount of it on non-revenue generating clients. If you speak with your team, you’ll most likely find their frustrations lie there too. That can be an eye-opener right there and a path to get moving on immediately.
3. Hold Yourself Accountable. You would think this one would be easy, right? It’s actually one of the most challenging. Here’s the number one thing – DO NOT have yourself be the person who holds you accountable – it won’t work! Whether it’s a colleague, spouse, coach, etc., make sure you have someone that you report to on setting your goals and meeting them. If it’s you that’s holding you accountable, you’ll find some reason to push it off, and then push it off again.
4. Start NOW. We all suffer from the “I’ll do this when” syndrome. If you stick to that motto, pigs will fly before you get around to strategically planning for your business.
So many times I’ll hear, “Well, we are already part of the way through the year, I’ll just wait to do it for next year.” STOP and LISTEN to what you are saying. You’re pushing off what should be your #1 priority (you, your employees, your business) yet again. Even if it’s just evaluating your book of business or setting your top three priorities for the year and having a team meeting around them, just START. Don’t wait for the perfect moment, time, or scenario because unfortunately, it’s like finding a unicorn – highly unlikely.
5. Don’t Give Up. This one’s super cliché, I know. But many times, we feel if we don’t have something complete in exactly the way we envisioned it, it’s a failure. I’m here to tell you, it’s not. Just by starting to plan and implement, you are FAR ahead of many others. Don’t be too hard on yourself as many of us tend to do.
Moral of the story? Don’t think that just because you’ve got it all in your head that your team knows what direction your organization is headed in. It’s got to be in writing, with a plan, and implemented to help everyone get rowing in the same direction.
If you’re letting it collect dust, chances are you’ll be left in the dust by your competitors who like to keep things squeaky clean.
Photo Credit: alphaspirit