Friday, March 20, 2015

Looking ahead

     Free daily tips, information, advice and ideas
     to help you better manage your small business. 

     Are you in the business you want to be in? Does the market support this? What are some directions you can take to better address current and emerging market trends? Are your original goals outdated? What are some ways you can head off in different directions? Do you have the resources to support new goals? Are you comfortable using social media in managing your business?

     All businesses drift. They take on a life of their own. Maybe this is a good thing, maybe not. Every now and then, you need to step back and take a hard look. You might find that your business has grown stale.

     You need to get yourself in that quiet place where you can think about where you are and where you are going. Only you can evaluate where you are in relation to where you want to be. You know the possibilities. Now sift through everything. 

     Clear thinking can turn today's hunches into tomorrow's realities. Clear thinking can turn around a failing business, and it can expand a business that's just stumbling along. 

     Always keep you eye firmly fixed on the marketplace. It's the marketplace that will make your business successful--or support a new direction. The marketplace is continually changing. Stay on top of it. 

     Example: My older sister operated a florist shop back in the 1950s through the 1980s. When I was a teenager, I helped her--delivering orders, picking up flowers at the distributor, cleaning up. Hers was a very successful business. Looking back, I wonder what her reaction might have been to today's communications technologies. Today, people dial an 800 number, order flowers, and they're done. My sister had to answer every phone call. Or, they click on a website and order what they see there. There were no websites back in her day. Or, they would have found her on social media sites--had the sites existed then. I know that she would have taken advantage of all of today's technologies. Why? Because she was always looking ahead.

     While business is all about the marketplace, the marketplace has many new ways to reach you today. Technology moves at a very rapid pace. When you're looking ahead in your own business, keep your eye on technology. It can have a major effect on the market and on your business.

     Looking ahead means juggling three things. Match your thinking to the marketplace, to technology, and to your dreams. This is basic business planning. If you have learned anything in business, you have learned to juggle. 

     So, get yourself into that quiet place and begin looking ahead. You might already be on the right track, but you might not. Only you can answer all the questions when you start looking ahead.