7 Key Steps to Help Your Small Business Thrive – Part 1


7 Key Steps to Help Your Small Business Thrive – Part 1

Managing a business can be hard, especially if you are a Small Business owner doing it all alone. When I talk to my clients who are Small Business owners and I ask them, “Why don’t you spend time working ‘ON’ your business rather than ‘IN’ your business?” The answer is always the same; I don’t have the time.

Did you know that ASIC reported a staggering number? More than eight thousand business went into external administration in the 2014-15 financial year. That is eight thousand businesses a year. The two primary reasons nominated as the causes of the failures were poor cash flow and poor strategic management.

Strategic management, particularly planning is a vital element in building your thriving business. The strategic mapping and planning process is the foundation for which your business is built up.

Strategic Mapping and Planning is the first phase of my 7 Stage Performance Ecosystem framework. For building your thriving business, you can’t build a house without solid foundations. The same principals apply to business. The strategy is the starting point which lays the groundwork for you to build upon. It’s the starting point for you to have clarity and direction. Clarity and direction on what you want to achieve, the goals for your business.

Below I share with you the first four steps, to strategic mapping and planning.

Step 1   – Vision, Purpose, Brand Values & Promise.

It’s important to review your business’s vision, purpose, brand values and promise, to ensure that it aligns with your goals. Do you live your values, does your product or service live up to your values and brand promise?

Step 2 – Insights and Innovation

When was the last time you conducted a review of trends? Understand the trends at a high level and be aware of how they may impact your industry and business. This step is so important, given the significant changes in the market over the years.

From the evolution of technology, markets, consumers buying patterns, product, distribution, and communication channels. It’s a process to review your relevance to the market, to ensure you remain relevant. Organic innovation is a result of identifying patterns from your insights.

For example, Samsung recently released a waterproof phone. This innovation of their product would have resulted from the identification of a pattern. The pattern being, the high number of mobile phones that were rendered useless after being dropped in the toilet. Patterns and insights lead to innovation.

Step 3 – SWOT

Conduct an analyse of the core strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for your business. Specifically focusing on the essential elements that have led to your success to date. Review the improvements that can be gained from the weaknesses. I have always seen weaknesses as opportunities for growth. Strengths and Weaknesses are internal factors. Opportunities and threats are external factors. Identify the opportunities for your business to help growth. Plus be aware of the potentials’ threats that are present.

Step 4 – OMG!

OMG is my favourite. Gain clarity around your Outrageous Massive Goal. The OMG is a statement of strategic intent. It outlines the result and goals of your business over the long term. It’s the dream bigger goal, the aspirations for your business. The OMG represents your goal for 10 – 15 years’ time. A little tip, it should scare you.

Every successful business I’ve worked with knows that strategic planning is integral to their success. If you want to build a thriving business, you need a strategic plan, end of story.

In my next article, I’ll share with you the last three steps. In the meantime, I urge you to think about and start creating the strategic roadmap for your business today. Set the foundations, gain clarity, set the direction and start building your thriving business.

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  • Sharon Chisholm

    A great article Caroline and one which I’ve shared on my page. x

    • Caroline Kennedy

      Thanks Sharon. I appreciate your feedback and the fact you shared the article. x

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