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.