Most small business owners go out into the marketplace with high hopes of success only to face heartbreaking disappointment when their business fails. While 400,000 new businesses are being created annually, 470,000 are closing, leaving a deficit of 70,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The first five years of an organization are crucial. During this early stage, you prove your concept, assess your impact, adapt and grow your company to adulthood. Like any other evolving entity, if it doesn’t grow it dies.
It is said that what you don’t know won’t hurt you but nothing could be further from the truth when you run a small business!
Opportunities to grow surround you. Before reading any further, I am asking you this: Do you really want to grow or are you too afraid? If your answer is a resounding ‘Yes’, then onward! Success is there for the Aggressively Prepared!
Here is what it takes to be aggressively prepared:
- Plan of Action:
Without a clear goal, there will be no clarity or focus. The first step is to be specific in setting your target, like for example ‘acquiring 30 new clients per month’, ‘increasing top line revenue by $150,000 per quarter’, etc.
But your plan of action must include more than your goal. It must identify key steps or objectives that must be achieved in order to accomplish the desired goal. Using one of the above example, what is it going to take to acquire 30 new clients per month? 100 calls per day, 23 emails, a digital advertising campaign, trade show, etc.
Now that you know which direction you are headed, you must identify the resources you will need for that journey. There are five main categories to consider i.e. money, talent, equipment, training and budgets.
- Budgets – When will capital be needed?
- Talent – What skill sets are needed?
- Equipment – Which equipment is needed?
- Training – Who will need training, and what type?
- Money – How much capital will be needed?
- Bookkeeping Management:
Failure to properly manage your books is one of the common mistake made by small businesses. Managing your books is more than just posting entries for your accounts payable and receivable. This is where the adequate in-house talent or outsourced services will identify inefficiencies, create accounting processes, provide oversight and manage/prepare for any cash flow gaps. Not only will it immediately improve your profitability but it will prevent holes between when you sell your product and when you get paid!
Execution is an easy concept to talk about, but one that’s easier said than done. You have defined your plan of action. Now it’s time to get it done. Apply the 80/20 principle to focus on the 20 percent that are your vital few. Every day ask yourself and your team what is the most valuable thing you can do right now.
You can’t manage it if you can’t measure it! Now that you have planned, prepared and executed, what is your metrics to hold management accountable for performance? For each objective, define the appropriate unit of measure and benchmark your current status. It is very important to communicate your metrics to your team so that everyone can make decisions to better manage them.
If you are truly serious about next level growth and success this guide will help you stop walking over dollars to pick up pennies!
Altima Business Solutions is a full service Management Consulting firm providing talent and execution thereby ‘Empowering Management to Focus’ on what moves their needle. If you would like assistance on any or all of these areas contact Altima Business Solutions today online (here), via email (here) or telephone (602) 773 1488
Author: André Wilson ‘The Banker’, Managing Partner
Altima Business Solutions, “Empowering You To Focus!”