Hint… It’s not because your coach or some book told you to.
Strategy is tough. At the same time you must consider finite details, determine long-term projections, analyze risks and examine the capabilities of your team. You can’t tackle strategy in the midst of everyday demands, much like you can’t design a home as you build it. Solid strategy sets the foundation for the work ahead and creates order in the pursuit of success. In other words, you have to find time to determine your goals and strategy before you begin doing the work.
I rarely get into the office before my team. And when I do, I jump right into email, the tasks requiring my immediate attention, and a cup of coffee. But today, I paused to examine my surroundings.
What did I find?
- Desks: Workspaces of each member of my team. Some disheveled. Some clean. Some well decorated…some, well, cluttered.
- Scribbles: Notes on the whiteboard. Checklists. Markups on a project. Post-its.
- Folders: Agendas. Client meeting minutes. Plans, budgets, calendars.
- Kitchen: The sound of coffee brewing. A variety of lunch bags in the refrigerator. Leftovers from the office potluck.
- Books: Some flagged. Some bookmarked. Some dog-eared. Some uncracked.
And that is why you need a business strategy.
Not because your coach told you to.
Not because some book told you to.
Because if you stop and look at your surroudings in a different light…they tell you to.
- Desks = People: People need direction, need to feel cared for, and need to feel they are a part of something. If you look past what’s on the surface, you’ll see the things you glaze over every day. You’ll find quotes that inspire the person behind the job title. You’ll see photos of loved ones who are the reason we do what we do. And, my favorite, observe the fun little artifacts of their commitment to your brand – company logos on sweatshirts over the back of their chair, notes from clients and vendors, photos of team events, and more.
- Scribbles = Priorities: It’s not just clutter. It’s a reminder that we need to prioritize and have a plan. Without a plan, we pick the post-it that’s closest and that becomes the priority for the day… a bad way to work.
- Folders = Clients: Yes, your clients are a big reason you should form a business strategy. Your products and services are only as strong as the plan behind them, and the stronger that plan, the more value you bring to those you serve.
- Kitchen = Rest: Your plan needs to include time to break. To rest. To enjoy time with your team in “non-work mode” and with those you care about. Small business owners are the busiest people I know. If you don’t plan time to refuel, it doesn’t always happen.
- Books = Knowledge: The world changes every second of every day. And, for many, we forget to keep learning. You need to include time for your team to build their skill set, learn new technology, and stay the foremost experts in their fields.
Need help in forming your marketing and business development strategy? We’d love to help. Contact us today.