Direction improves business outcomes

One-page plan makes direction clear.

Lack of direction causes many problems and frustrations

Do you feel overloaded and stressed because of the direction your business is taking? Are sales and profits declining and you are only just surviving whilst struggling with poor cash flow? Perhaps the direction you are taking is so bad your best employees have been slowly leaving and you are only one lost customer away from bankruptcy? Running a business is hard enough without continually running around in circles and maintaining the struggles.  This is precisely what you risk doing if you don’t clarify your business direction. Businesses that start failing often lack clarity of purpose, so it pays to get your business’s purpose sorted first.

Saving a business from the brink of disaster is not easy

Of course, it can be done. Often all that is needed are a few new strategies to change its direction. A change in work habits along with good practical advice and support can also impact on the direction. The important first step is to take a deep breath, adjust your mental attitude, be positive and start believing in yourself and what you are trying to achieve. The way business is done today is changing rapidly.

Changes are being driven by globalisation and technology which is forcing everyone to take a new look at the direction they are travelling in. Perhaps it’s time to take action on the direction both you and your business is going in before it becomes too difficult to change.

Time to organise a clear direction

Running a business can be hard enough without being disorganised. Being disorganised is precisely what you risk doing if you don’t clarify your business direction. Businesses that start failing often lack clarity of purpose, so it pays to get your business’s direction clarified as quickly as possible.

Every day brings with it a chance for a new beginning. Watch the sun come up and take advantage of it.

Your business plan should clearly document you chosen direction

The plans you put in place are likely to change as time goes by. They should give you a general direction for the business aimed at achieving the outcomes you want. However, any strategic direction put in place should be adaptable and changes should be made to reflect the changes in the market. It is important for your business to have a clear strategic direction to ensure the business is performing at the level you want, This needs to be clearly documented and clearly communicated to all stakeholders.

A thought thorough, well-constructed business plan defines the direction you want your business to take and provides documentation of the activities that will keep it on track. It shoulda record all the known obstacles, challenges and new opportunities you will encounter. It is also a way to measure your expectations,  growth and performance.

Look back on your business’s progress in the past year. Is the current vision outdated and not providing a sense of direction?  Even if you had a vision for your business, revision is always something worth considering. The business plan also provides the appropriate documentation when you need to raise capital, or when you are looking for partnership to help grow your business. A good place to start some new planning might be the One-Page Business Plan,  http://goo.gl/1IZKsv.

Direction strategies, put the business back on track

Sit down with your family, friends and other key people

Ask them to help you to set a clear direction and uncover roadblocks that are holding you back from achieving your aspirations. Often these people will see a clearer direction than you can.

Relax

Take a pencil and paper, find a quite place to relax, where you can do some thinking, reflecting and basic planning, away from the business, without interruptions. You need to make time available now because if the business folds you will have plenty of it. What can be more important than getting your business direction on track and having fun again?

Work with your team

You probably have a vision and many hopes for the business, especially if it’s one that you started from scratch or salvaged. However, you should avoid being the sole ideas person. Your trust in your team is paramount. Bring all levels of employees into the conversation about the direction of the business.  This will provide you with useful feedback and will enable you to see where there problems, frustrations, wants and needs are. It will also help you to realign everything behind a common purpose.

Make a list of the real problems that are impeding your direction

Whatever you do, don’t dwell on the minor issues you have, focus on the frustrations and problems which need to be fixed as quickly as possible, ones that will have the biggest positive impact. Limit yourself to the top five problems as you won’t be able to fix everything at once. You may need to change the strategies that are blocking your progress, http://goo.gl/Iy1tGH.

Change the conversations around your business and family

Many problems and frustrations continue to remain unsolved in an organisation (finance, poor sales, complaints, employees leaving and so on). This is simply because the same old conversations persist, day in and day out. If you change the conversations, you will change the way people think, which will change the way they feel, which will change the way they work, which will change the outcomes of the business, along with its direction.

Set important milestones

Once you’ve written down your major goals, come up with a milestone for each one. These milestones will help to hold you and your team accountable.

Business is too hard doing it by yourself

Seek out people to help you and look at ways to excite them in helping you. Consider engaging more partnerships to supplement your existing activities.

Outsourcing for profit and growth

Outsourcing lets you pull together the resources to handle temporary work overloads, reduce expenses, speed products to market, simplify distribution, provide more or better service to your customers and compete with more established competitors. The world is getting smaller, you are no longer geographically bounded, people you outsource to can be anywhere in the world.

Look for useful feedback from customers

This will enable you to see where their problems, frustrations, wants and needs can be better aligned with your business operations.

Encourage employees

Employees are well placed to help you to identify ways to clarify and improve your business direction. Most good employees will appreciate being involved in clarifying and helping you to create a new direction for the business.

Use planning retreats and organise regular brainstorming sessions

This will help you to improve your Business Model and Business Planning as well as give you more insight into what is possible to propel your business into the future.

Be alert to new ideas and opportunities

Seek to generate new ideas opportunities to improve your performance. Surfing the Internet can take you so far but, by attending trade shows, workshops, seminars and conferences you will be able to uncover the unexpected and receive more clarification.

Avoid being too busy, conserve you time to deal with this very important issue. Focus your time on profit, growth and sustainability. Focus on what you are good at and outsource the rest. Get started by making a list of the problems to solve in your business. Then make a list of the vendors, contractors and other service providers you think might be able to help you to achieve your desired direction, quicker, better and cheaper than you can.

Need some help is resetting your direction, contact us for some extra help with this important issue,  http://goo.gl/bjE3LG.

Quotable quotes

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination”. Jimmy Dean

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction”. John F. Kennedy

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