Creating Chaos Defeating Strategies for your Small Business
Chaos is a given in the world of a small business owner, since every week there is another issue to deal with, opportunity to take advantage of and idea to act on all at once. The great part about being an entrepreneur is the ability to manage any situation that arises in your own way, creating a high degree of flexibility that can make problems that would be much more difficult to handle in a corporate setting seem trivial. On the other hand, keeping track of decisions that you make should be taken seriously lest you find yourself three calls down the line forgetting what your endgame was supposed to be.
Take the time to write things down. Even the best laid out strategies can turn into major sources of problems if they aren’t managed correctly. One suggestion for helping remember and keep track of ideas in the moment is taking a second to physically write them down. Whether it is on a tablet, or a good old piece of paper, having your thoughts laid out in words that you can revisit is a simple yet effective way to stay on top of multiple ideas or monitor individual phases of a plan.
Set intermediate goals. If your were going to climb a mountain, would you want to walk along a trail that had a marker at the beginning and at the end, or one that had evenly spaced and clearly visible signs that you could follow all the way up? Unless you are a master at orienteering, odds are good you would prefer to follow a more clearly defined trail to your destination. The same principle applies in planning towards your major small business goals. Instead of taking a single major goal and placing it at a single point in the future, place guiding goals at intermediate points along the way so that you can be sure that you are making progress.
Listen to your employees. When a business owner doesn’t take the time to listen to what their employees have to say, they can lose clear perspective of how their business is operating, which in turn has the potential to disconnect their policies from the reality of their situations. While meetings can quickly grow old, make other means of delivering feedback available to your employees so that you are not surprised down the road by insights that would have been useful a month ago.
Photo Credit to Matthias Ripp on Flickr