Most successful business owners cite laser focus on the right things as paramount to their success. Staying focused and staying sharp on the things necessary to grow and change is important. But sometimes business gets lazy and in a rut. The owner stops seeing the big picture. The business has had years of successful sales and profits. Since the business is still making money and continuing to operate the reasoning is, if it’s not broke don’t fix it. But recently the business has experienced a decline in sales and profits. In short, there have been changes in the economy and the market. In order to remain successful the business owner must refocus. How are you doing? Take this 5 area checkup:
1. Make sure you know what business you are in. If you make cell phones do you provide smart phones or do you create facilitated mobile communication? If you run a civil engineering company do you create road designs or do you help municipalities solve their transportation problems? If you are in real estate do you sell houses or do you assist peoples manage their living solutions?
2. Don’t react to change; create it. The best way to this it to look into the future, understand the trends and how they affect your business and move yourself into them. For example, considering technology changes and the emerging Millennials should you utilize more virtual and technology based presentations including videos.
3. Assess your business. Take inventory of where you have strengths in the market as well as where you are weak and vulnerable. With that information identify your opportunities to exploit as well as emerging changes that could be threats to your business. If you have done good business in an area where you know you are weak and you see new external threats on the horizon you may want to move away from that offering. On the other hand, look at new opportunities where you can exploit your strengths.
4. How do you communicate and market? The method and costs of marketing and communication have already changed drastically. Today, who looks to find something in the Yellow Pages? You need to embrace the new media. However, I caution you to evaluate and create a strategy first. Don’t simply follow the latest shiny new media application.
5. Understand generational differences. Different generations have different needs, communicate differently, and engage with your business differently. If you are doing well serving one generation, learn why. Are the things that engage that generation of no value to the next generation? Failure to understand that dynamic will result in increasingly lost revenue.
How did you make out with your checkup? Do you still have some work to do? If you have not done a strategic plan or updated yours in the last 3 years now might be a good time to do it. It will help you focus on the future.