Small business owners are faced with unique challenges when it comes to scaling. Most entrepreneurs don’t have the luxury of managing operations from afar; they’re helping customers, overseeing inventory, reviewing finances, and coaching staff members on a daily basis. This necessary involvement in the everyday happenings of a business can make it difficult to step back and focus on strategy—but strategy is an essential component in scaling your business. These 4 tips will help you make time for strategic thinking so that you don’t lose sight of the big picture as your work toward immediate goals.
Tip 1: Define Your Vision
All strategy should stem from the ultimate vision for your company. What’s your business’s mission? What are your values? Who do you serve? What makes you unique from your competitors? Pursuing objectives that align with these attributes will help you develop strategies that make sense for your business and your audience.
Tip 2: Make Time to Blue Sky
Make a regular date with yourself to spend some time kicking around blue-sky ideas. This is valuable time where you can take off your pragmatist’s hat for an hour and dream big. It’s easy to shut ideas down when you let your internal budget-wrangler reign over your thoughts; give him or her some time off and let your creativity thrive.
Tip 3: Use Ideas to Drive Action
Once you’ve finished brainstorming, it’s time to put your pragmatist hat back on and look over your ideas. Identify the ones that are viable in the short term, those viable in the long term, and those that are unlikely to happen. Then, take the short-term list and make a plan to put those ideas into action.
Tip 4: Be Accountable
As with any major goal, it helps to have someone to keep you accountable for making progress. Whether it’s your business partner, a mentor, a friend, or a family member, make sure you have someone you can talk to about your strategy, what you’re doing to pursue it now, and what you plan to do in the future to achieve your goals.
The Bottom Line
Guiding your business’s growth with strategic thinking isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes vision, time, creativity, and commitment to develop actionable ideas that will drive successful change. Having a solid strategy that adapts to your goals and the needs of your business and consumers is one of the keys to scaling success. Dig in, think big, and go after your goals!