We are all often too busy for strategy – and we all use the same excuses! In this article I’m going to bust the 3 most common excuses we use to avoid working on our business strategy.
“I don’t have time for that“
We all have tasks that compete for our attention but you can’t do everything at the same time. So how can you choose the best work to do first? The key is to classify your tasks by whether they are Urgent and Important:
Like a lot of people, you might spend your time something like this:
- 20% Crises/Emergencies
- 10% Prevention/Planning/Improvement
- 20% Interruptions
- 50% Time Wasters
If so, you are wasting half your time! Get proactive – classify your tasks to make time for Prevention / Planning / Improvements. Live mostly in quadrant 2 because it will reduce the time you spend on Crises / Emergencies and Interruptions. Get ruthless – remove Time Wasters wherever possible.
Your time is valuable – so take control of it! Your Business Strategy is key to your business and you need to invest your valuable time in planning, tracking and reviewing it. If you don’t, you’ll be doomed to spend your time putting out bushfires and wasting your time on administrivia.
You absolutely have time for strategy, but you’re currently spending it on less important tasks – EXCUSE BUSTED!
“I can’t predict the future”
Of course you can’t predict the future – if you could, you wouldn’t be here, right? You’d be on a beach somewhere with a nice cool drink!
Lucky for you, creating your strategy is not about getting it 100% correct. Yes, part of your strategy will involve setting some targets such as:
- Gross / Net Profit;
- Customers (quantity, avg spend);
- Markets (geographic, online, industries);
These are important because they give you targets to aim for, and let’s be honest – if you don’t have a target the chance of hitting it is pretty slim. But actually the main part of your strategy is how you will get there. You know that things will change along the path to your targets, so you’ll constantly be adjusting your course. Your strategy helps to equip your business to make those adjustments.
You don’t need to predict the future, you just need to plan for it – EXCUSE BUSTED!
“I’d rather spend my time on something that generates money”
Being active makes us feel productive, whether it’s making calls, stacking shelves, spending time in the workshop, being out on site, visiting clients. No doubt some/most of the time these activities do generate money.
But do you know what generates even more money? A kick-ass strategy! If you’re only spending your time on emergencies, interruptions, or *gasp* time wasters, you are missing out on the chance to improve your strategy and bring it back on track to get closer to your goals.
The key message here is work smart not just hard. Spending time on your strategy helps you:
- Generate more prospective customers;
- Increase your conversion rate (prospects to customers);
- Increase quantity of sales to existing customers;
- Increase the return on sales.
Your strategy doesn’t write itself, and it certainly doesn’t work by itself – you need to spend time with, in and on your strategy. When you do it will generate more money for you!
Not spending time on your strategy will lose you money in the long run – EXCUSE BUSTED!
When you next find yourself making these excuses, take a step back. Review your activities – stop doing the Time Wasters, and delegate or delay the Interruptions. Make time to regularly review your strategy and modify it if needed. Check that your prospects and conversions are on track. How are your projects to increase sales, decrease costs, or otherwise improve your return on sales going?
It definitely helps to have an adviser who is a good sparring partner to regularly review your strategy and progress. Somebody who listens, challenges, supports, questions and suggests. If you don’t have somebody for this, contact us to see if we would suit you.