Summer Strategy For Your Business

By Grant T. Smith

businessIt is the time of year again at Clearline when partners gather, joined by the dedicated management team, to plan and strategize for the year ahead. While June 30th establishes the end of the busy season and September is the start of the new business calendar (timed with the start of school), summer is our time for reflection.

 

Is your business carving out time to reconsider and contemplate the changes ahead? If not, you should be. Too much of business is cluttered with reacting to the short term demands of the day. Our private lives are no better when the rush of keeping up takes charge of our course of action. I know an amazing entrepreneur who finds time every year to escape the confines of city life and spend a week away, not on vacation but in quiet reflection and active thought on the future of the business.  

 

So how do you build this important activity into your schedule?

  • This week (…better yet – as soon as you finish this article!) open your calendar and draw a circle around a week that you can put aside. Then, protect these days like you would protect an important family event or holiday.    

 

To make the most of your strategy time, consider reflecting on two areas: your business numbers and your values. Here are some prompts to get you started:

Number Stuff:

  • Make a list of your top 5 and bottom 5 revenue sources (either clients or product lines)
  • Make a list of your most time-consuming clients or challenges
  • List out the top 3 expense items (likely staffing, occupancy costs, cost of sales)

 

Value Stuff:

  • What are 3 goals you have wanted to achieve but keep stalling on?
  • What do you like most about your job?
  • What do you hate about your job?

 

Take both your number stuff and your value stuff away when your circled week arrives. I suggest you write a page on each of the things in the first list and then put them away while you drink a glass of wine and contemplate the value items.

 

The value questions are key. For me they far outweigh the others, but the hard numbers need to be fresh in your mind while you contemplate how to focus on moving forward to achieve your goals and remove (or minimize) the hated choices. I also believe you will see a direct correlation between the things you hate, the things that are stalled and the under performing quantitative items.

 

That is as far as this goes today but let me know if you want to hear more.