Now that you are thinking about becoming your own boss or have done so already, there are certain elements of business ownership that you should consider. Along with developing your start-up budget and creating your marketing materials, strategic planning, performance management and customer and market focus are other key elements of your business that will need your attention.
Many may think strategic planning is something done once a year, packaged in a nice binder and placed on the shelf until the next year. However, strategic planning is a blend of art and science. It is pivotal for you to understand how to apply your technical knowledge of your industry and blend it with innovative thoughts and ideas to create strategic actions, i.e., the “how” you are going to reach your clients, market new products, and increase your sales. Through this process, you will gain an understanding of how to leverage your strengths, maximize your opportunities, minimize your weaknesses, and posture against threats in order to achieve your vision for your business. Your ability to master working with a strategic mindset will arm you for better success in a world of increasing change and growing competition.
Key Performance Metrics
Once your plan is developed and outlined, there must be buy-in established for all involved. This includes asking yourself if you really believe that your plan is one that is realistic and achievable. This buy-in will serve as the foundation for your performance, and propel you forward even when the journey gets a little hard.
You will then need to learn how to identify and interpret your company’s key performance metrics that extend beyond financial measures. These milestones and measures, just like a dashboard on a car, will tell you how your business is performing overall. By keeping an eye on your business dashboard, you will be able to make sound decisions about improvements or changes that you need to make to ensure you are still moving toward yo ur objective.
We can often get inundated with activities that do not directly or indirectly tie to our goals. These off course activities, if we are not careful, can rob us of our valuable time and resources. It is critical that you look at your business through a lens that is laser focused on your objective. This new vantage will enable you to identify value-added actions, weigh the performance of each by establishing critical timelines and key outcomes, and move closer to your target.
Knowing Your Customers and Market
Lastly, a business is only as successful as the clients it serves. This is the most important component of your mastery of the keys of entrepreneurship. Ask yourself these questions: Who are my customers? How do I let them know about my products and services? What will make them satisfied customers? How do I measure success? To promote continued growth and success, it is important that you learn how to identify customer red flags, and establish contingency measures before you risk losing those clients you worked so hard to attract. Be willing to position your business to stay on the cutting edge of change by leveraging key industry resources and building strategic partnerships. Remember that no one is an island!
Now that you are more aware of some of the key elements of business development, never lose sight that strategic thinking is the cornerstone to success.
Get in touch with LaWanna Bradford, Chief Operating Officer of The Bradford Group, LLC, for more on the topic and other business questions you may have:
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