Why You Need A Map? – How To Get Your Business Back On Track In Uncertain Times!

Do You Have A Map?

Have you ever been traveling and all of the sudden your GPS goes offline, it goes off line and just that quickly you really have no idea what to do next, and you don’t know which direction you should be driving? That is a very frustrating experience and unfortunately it reminds me of something that happens to businesses every day. Something changes, and all of the sudden you don’t know what to do next. The conditions are not the same, the economy is not quite as vibrant, customers are looking for something new, and something different, and you may not be sure how your business fits in, or you may not know what to do next. The old way isn’t working, and you are not quite sure what the new way should look like. You feel like yesterday doing business made sense, you understood what to do next, and now you are not quite sure. It is the same thing that happens when the GPS goes offline, and you are in a new place.

Can you imagine what would happen if as soon as your GPS went down you had a map with some back-up instructions? Not only would that be nice that would be incredibly comforting, as well. Every business should have a map, and if you don’t have one, here are some steps to start making one. This is the first step in the strategic planning sessions I do with my clients.

Step One. Take a look at what is changed. Every business owner needs to take a close look at what has changed in their business and their industry before they can make any changes. For instance, it doesn’t make sense to make a boatload of changes to the way you do business if the changes that you are experiencing are temporary. There are factors that must be considered before any change is made. Is what is happening a once in a lifetime experience or is this the new normal and now you need to learn how to live with it? You have to know the answer to that question before you can do anything else.

Step Two. Make An Honest Review. There are times in our businesses when we saw the handwriting on the wall, and we just didn’t respond the way we needed to, and this is why things have slowed down. For instance, have you adapted well to change as an organization, or did you ignore things until that was no longer an option. You need to understand what you did well and what you did poorly, so you can learn from both your successes and your failures.

Step Three. Decide What You Are Willing To Do To Turn Things Around. As a business owner, you must count the cost. You don’t want to get into the middle of a project and decide that it is too expensive to move forward or that you don’t want to fix the problems that your business is experiencing because you really don’t have the energy that it is going to take to move forward. Ask yourself how far you are willing to go in order to solve the problems you are experiencing. If you are not heavily invested, don’t enter into any long term or costly solutions, so you don’t end up wasting money. Decide up front what you are willing to do, set a budget and a time frame so you can look at solutions that fit your requirements.

Step Four. Find The Right Next Steps. Now that, you have looked at the other pieces, decide what outcomes you are looking for and then find solutions that work with your budget, your time, and your skill set. This process will allow you to figure out where you want to go and how you are going to get there. Similar to a map, this will help you take a close look at your options and carefully weed out those that don’t meet your requirements. This is a tool you can use to keep you on task, and it will protect you from the shiny new thing syndrome that can capture your attention when we are solving problems. Focus on what will help your business the most and move in that direction armed with great information, and a plan that will help you get where you want to go.

You need a plan, or a map when conditions change so you can make the necessary changes quickly. When you are working on solutions you need to know what direction you should go in, and you need to consider all of the factors. Business changes are normal in our global economy, and you want to be prepared and as flexible as possible, to make sure your business not only survives, but also thrives in the years to come.

Take Your Business Back to School

It’s August and that means parents everywhere are beginning the annual back-to-school rituals. Every parent knows (and sometimes dreads) the process. If you have school or college aged children, you’re probably dealing with it right now. Or maybe, yours are “grown and gone”, but you still remember the drill.

For business owners this adds more chores to your regular list. But have you considered that your business may need a back-to-school brush up as well? Once everyone is settled back into the classroom routine, it might be a good idea to have a chat with your VA (virtual assistant) or business advisor, while the issues are fresh in your mind.

While customs vary from family to family, and from region to region, there are certain necessities that are universal back-to-school activities.

New Clothes: Your students look forward to a new fall wardrobe when the school year begins. Everyone wants to start off right by looking their best. The same may apply to your business. Is it time for a fresh look for your website or updated info on your brochures?

School Supplies: Many children – and not just in the younger grades – really enjoy getting new pencils, notebooks, crayons, backpacks, etc. This might be a good time to evaluate and/or plan for business supplies. Do you often find yourself with too many or too few of needed items? Or maybe there is a big-ticket item that you would like to have. Now is a good time to plan for how to get these things to improve your business.

Health Check-Ups: With sports physicals, required vaccinations and developmental testing, a visit to the doctor’s office is often a part of the back-to-school routine. It’s important for educational progress and safety to make sure students are healthy and ready to learn. It’s also important to periodically assess the health of your business. Do you have adequate cash flow? What type of marketing will you use to ensure the health and progress of your business? Are you prepared for growth?

New Friends and Contacts: One of the exciting parts of a new school year is the opportunity to meet new friends and re-connect with past ones. And of course there are new teachers with policies to sign and contact forms to fill out. Your business can also benefit from new friends and contacts. What’s the current state of your social networking site pages? Do they need updating? Or perhaps you could benefit from a more regular schedule for these activities.

Enjoy August as a time of new beginnings for students and businesses.

Home Based Business – Top 3 Tips to Get You and Your Business Back in the Drivers Seat

Is your home Internet business thriving? Are you putting your energies in the right places or are you finding that you are just not achieving the outcome you had hoped for? So many people are re-active and become scattered and unproductive, feeling like they are not moving forward. These three helpful tips will help put you back on track and in the drivers seat.

1. Time Management

I want to talk about and discuss the importance of time management. What is time management anyway? Think about this for a moment. There is no such thing as time management, everyone has the same time. You can’t control time but you can control and manage yourself in time. Whether you have 2, 4 or 6 hours in a day to work your business you need a solid plan and schedule and you need to focus until tasks are achieved, in other words to stay on target. There is nothing more valuable than time.

2. Multi-tasking

Forget multi-tasking, that’s a myth. You don’t need to do everything all at once. The key when you are first starting out is to choose one or two things at a time and do them until you master them. Only then should you move on. If you do too many things at once you will become less productive and frustrated with yourself and your business. You need to slow down, take one step at a time and it will all fall into place. Remember the story of the Hare and the Tortoise – who won that race?

3. Being Overwhelmed

Being overwhelmed believe it or not is actually not a bad thing. Of course the alternative to overwhelm is underwhelm and this coincides with being underpaid. As a true Internet business owner you need to be able to learn how to deal with and process the overwhelming amount of information. This is where having a solid plan and schedule are essential, you need to put some time aside to read, do courses and learn new skills. This is without distractions from family, social media, phone calls, e-mails etc.

Don’t forget to take some much needed time for yourself to energize your mind and body so you have the energy to stay focused. You need the right balance so that you can enjoy and have fun in your life and your business.