Thursday, January 8, 2015

Facing the music

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     to help you better manage your small business.

     To grow your small business, you need to face the music from time to time. Old songs lose their edge. Singing styles change. 

     The music that moved you in the past can begin to show its age. When this happens, get yourself into a quiet place. Leave behind your phone, television and all the other technological goodies that can distract you.

     Ask yourself some honest questions. Start the process to get some honest answers to help you better manage your small business.

     1. Where am I headed? Do I need to rethink this thing? Despite the daily grind, am I as enthusiastic as when I began? Do I spring out of bed every morning, anxious to tackle a new day's activities? Can I expect to retire one day? 

     2. Am I in the right business? Has the world passed me by? Am I drifting? Does the marketplace adequately support what I'm doing? Should I consider changing my direction? Should I close the door and begin again? What is the market anyway? 

     3. Can I grow internally? Do I need additional funding to take the next step? Does my business plan support the road I'm taking? Do I need a new business plan? Do I really know and appreciate the value of a business plan? 

     4. Am I comfortable using the new social media? Do I need to educate myself in the value of social media? Which of the various social media alternatives can best help me in my business? How do I use social media to grow and expand? 

     This is not a weekly exercise. But it can prove very useful to do a couple of times each year.

     Asking these questions in that quiet place will result in an amazing thing. It will focus you on the future of what you're doing. It will help clarify goals. It will bring the long term aspects of your small business to bear on the daily grind. 

     With answers comes a fresh look. Not necessarily at the time you put yourself through the question and answer period, but at odd times later on. All sorts of ideas will begin to pop into your mind. It's a way to force some organization on the mental processes. It helps you get beyond the daily stresses. 

     It's good to face the music now and then. 

     Don't limit your questions to those I've provided. Come up with some of your own. The process will get your mind out of the everyday stuff that can bog you down. It helps you take the long view.   

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