Posts Tagged ‘strategic action plans’

Are You The Captain Wing-It of Your Small Business?

Do you schedule time with yourself to work ON your small business instead of working IN your business?  In the book It’s Not the Big that Eat the Small, But It’s The Fast that Eat the Slow, the authors reveal that most business executives spend less than 15 minutes a day thinking or even planning for their businesses.

How many times do you tell yourself that you are just too busy to take the time to do whatever you need to do to work ON your business?  You begin to justify your last minute behavior also know as procrastination. Over the course of time, you convince yourself that you work well under pressure, that you can handle anything and this leads you down the path of expending your time on yesterday’s and today’s problems.

Scheduling time is all about having a planning attitude.  Given that attitudes according to Zig Ziglar are habits of thought, most people in business have not learned how to plan their work or work their plan.  The number of small business owners who lack strategic action plans confirms this ongoing attitude. These individuals are engaged in flying by the seat of their pants or what I call being the Captain Wing-Its of their businesses.

Imagine for a moment you are sitting on a plane and hear the following:

Good morning ladies and gentlemen.  From the flight deck, this is Captain Wing-It.  Welcome aboard Fly High Airlines flight number 135 heading for sunny Bermuda…or are we flight number 351 en route to the Bahamas?  You know, we’ve been very busy around here the last few days and haven’t had a chance to file the flight plan just yet.  Oh well, I’m sure we can figure it out! Rumor has it that we’re in for a bumpy ride. We will eventually be departing from one of the available runways and flying in that direction for a while.  It’s unclear at this time which runway we’ll be using and in which direction we’ll be flying. So sit back, relax and enjoy the flight…and again, thank you for flying Fly High Airlines…your sometimes on-time, on-course, on-purpose airline.

Would you feel comfortable flying on this plane?  Are you thinking don’t close the door, let me out?  Why are you having these thoughts?

TAKE ACTION Think about your small business or business related activities.  Most people admit to wasting at least 12 minutes a day. Take those 12 minutes and reinvest them by working on your business unless you enjoy being Captain Wing-It!

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The Rampant Virus of Spray and Pray Communication In Small Business

Effective communication in small business is critical be it an email, a phone call, a direct mail piece or a face to face conversation. Yet what I have discovered is so many small businesses  because they lack strategic action plans engage in what I call “spray and pray” communication.

commjunication-in-small-businessSince there exists no foundational clarity because there are strategic action plans with specific goals as to sales, marketing or other current initiatives, etc.,  these spray and pray behaviors actually evolve into a rampant virus that infects the entire organization. No wonder nothing gets accomplished within the expected time frame and stress levels are at an all time high.

For example, an executive sales coaching client with a Fortune 500 Global organization is looking to sell in a new vertical. Sales management admitted very little research was done within this new vertical. The result to date is the sales team is working in different directions with very little accomplished.

People are busy, crazy busy. They do not have time to read probably 1% of all their communications. This is why communication in small business must be on target, direct, aligned to other business growth strategies, emotionally compelling and worth the time from the perception of the receiver.

If you are not achieving your corporate business growth goals including sales goals, then maybe it is time for an assessment because ineffective communication in small business not only erodes profits, but disengages  your high performing employees especially your sales team.

D.I.AL.O.G.U.E is a proven organizational development assessment that uncovers not only ineffective communication in small business, but is aligned to proven business growth criteria.

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2012 and The Next Level of Personal and Business Success

Today is the first day of 2012. Happy New Year!

For many it is a day of reflection specific to personal success and business success along with the successes not achieved (think failures).  This morning I completed the metrics for the current year and realized the achievement of these goals.

I set goals using my own 8 spoke Life Wheel and this is infused into a one page personal action plan.

  • Purpose goal was achieved
  • Ethics/Beliefs (Spiritual) goals were achieved
  • Mental development goals were achieved
  • Personal health goal was achieved and one was not achieved
  • Family goals, one was achieved; two were not
  • Social goals all achieved, but one
  • Financial goal was achieved
  • Career goals was achieved

Looking to my overall sales goals, I was  for the most part on target.  Additionally when reviewing the goals for my business, I was very pleased to see the growth in my marketing efforts and how that supported the revenue increase.  As I have engaged in education based marketing since 2005 through article writing along with the adoption of this blog in February 2010, traffic to my website has greatly increased through the distribution of quality content.  A study by the Marketing Profs reaffirmed this approach of content marketing is now being further adopted by B2B businesses.

For example, my Alexa ranking started the year at 309,224, ended at 163,227 and reached 148,525 in mid November of 2011. This is a trending tool and is one way I can determine overall Internet market penetration.

Another benchmark I use is my name.  Each month I conduct Google searches using my name through these 4 key phrases:

  1. Leanne Hoagland-Smith
  2. “Leanne Hoagland-Smith”
  3. Leanne Hoagland-Smith + articles
  4. “Leanne Hoagland-Smith” + articles

The use of these metrics have shown continued Internet presence. As in mid December, I had 588,000 hits to my name and 149,000 hits to my name plus articles.  This is a far cry from 6 years ago where I had under 100 hits to my name and no hits to my name plus articles.

Unique visitors to my website totaled 86,438 an increase of 37,566 visitors over 2010. What is interesting to note in 2005 I had only 3,378 total unique visitors for the year.  Today I am averaging 8,000 unique visitors each month.

From my strategic action plans, I have already set new personal goals and business goals.  Goals that were not achieved and been revisited, reworked and are on my 2012 action plans. What is so surprising is once you get in the habit of setting goals, monitoring them, establishing new goals takes far less time than in the past.  Part of the reason for this is through data analysis and repetition.  Practice does make more perfect.

So from my sharing, where are your next levels of personal and business success?

  • Have you invested time to review what you accomplished and what you still need to achieve? 

  • What do you want to achieve in 2012?

  • How will you measure your progress?

  • What are you key performance indicators, your dashboard?

Time does fly by. Each day we are allotted 86,400 seconds that fade almost as quickly as they come into view. Each one of us has far more control over our personal and business success than we have been led or conditioned to believe. The choice to make 2012 the best year ever is really up to you.
And this choice begins by writing down your goals and reviewing them weekly.  You will indeed be surprised by the results.

P.S. If you wish to consider some easy strategic action plans, then Triage Business Planning teleconference may support you in those efforts.



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