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BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT SERIES: Strategy 2 - The long term focus for clarity

Running a business is not for the faint hearted and requires strategic thinking to achieve optimal results. In our Business Improvement Series we’ve outlined the key strategies business owners need to take their business to the next level. In Strategy 1 we explored the ramifications a short term focus can have on your business. Following on from this, let’s look at Strategy 2 and explore the importance of long term focus for clarity to achieve optimal results.

So for the best long term success where should we start?

We need to think strategically and start with the end in mind. Strategy is defined as a plan, method, or series of manoeuvres for obtaining a specific goal or result.

To put this into context let’s look a simple example. The objective is to dig a ditch for a water pipe in the backyard. Do you just go into the back yard and start digging? This would result in some very early progress but would probably take longer to complete the task, especially if you start digging in the wrong place and head in the wrong direction.

To kick things off you need to clearly know where the pipe needs to start, where it needs to end, and the path that you need it to take through the yard. By planning this out at the start you can create the most efficient path for the ditch and in turn the least amount of digging required.

It is important to note that this will not necessarily mean that everything will go smoothly during your ditch digging. You may encounter issues along the way such as an existing pipe in your way or a rocky patch that is hard dig through. A little bit of time should be spent at the start to anticipate some of the barriers that may crop up and consider what you should do if they do arise. In this example acquiring some plans for the house may allow you check the location of any existing pipes or digging a few small holes along the route could identify the consistency of the soil.

So when it comes to tackling strategic improvement for anything that is significant spending the time to go through the following process up front is essential to ensuring that we can achieve the best possible result.

  1. Define the objective/vision.
  2. What are the goals to achieve the vision?
  3. Where are we now in relation to our goals and what is the gap we need to bridge?
  4. What are the strategies that will bridge the gap to those goals?
  5. What are the actions that will implement those strategies?
  6. What will the barriers to implementation be?

Over the remaining 6 instalments of this series we will drill into each step of this process to explain a little bit more about what you should be doing.

Hanrick Curran has many years experience supporting SME business owners to improve their business performance. If you would like to review how your business is currently performing and discuss strategies that can have a significant impact on your business please contact your usual Hanrick Curran advisor or alternatively Robert Pitt on 07 3218 3900.

Please note that this publication is intended to provide a general summary and should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal advice.