Have you ever wondered how to shift your business from a start-up to an SME, or from an SME to a saleable asset?
If you’re an avid runner, you know what it takes to get from running your weekly Park Run to competing in the Old Mutual 42km Marathon.
Your success, whether it’s in fitness or business, lies in one key factor: your methodology.
These four key methods will help your business go the distance:
1. Get your health checked
Every business owner needs to set a baseline or starting point: What is the current health status of your business? In other words: how fit or healthy is your business?
The importance of knowing this is often missed.
If you are currently only able to run or walk 3km and want to get to full marathon status, you are likely to have a very clear understanding of the training required to achieve it.
Similarly, if you know where your current risks to success lie or know what your business is currently valued at, you can more than likely identify and articulate the areas that need improvement.
2. Get a plan
Most of us have often set lofty resolutions to get fit, but more often than not have been unable to achieve these goals. Articulating the “why” in our motivation to run a marathon and sharing this with those close to us will often result in a far better success rate.
In business this is called your strategy. Many businesses take the typical SWOT analysis approach to bring about good results: by identifying its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
While this kind of strategy is important, it’s also essential to take a deeper look at your business and identify additional key areas like:
- Shareholder aspirations
- Business vision
- Market analysis
- Action plan
- Defined measurements
This in-depth approach gives you, the business owner, the opportunity to articulate the “why” in your implementation of a particular strategy and increase your chances of achieving it.
3. Get started
Like any good fitness plan, setting your training schedule in advance and training with someone to hold you accountable helps set the tone to get you started.
Many companies spend thousands of Rands on strategy workshops and get good results from these. However, once back at the office, it’s easy for these strategies to get filed away for review the following year.
By defining action plans and measurements in your strategies and sharing these with your team, you immediately start holding yourself and your team accountable to achieve these goals.
Set and plan meetings in advance to manage these plans and review the measurements that are agreed on.
4. Get testing
Once all the aforementioned phases are in place, you can then operate and constantly measure your progress. Measuring forms a crucial part of any plan. It allows you to constantly assess your progress, ensure targets are reached and adjust your plan if problem areas are identified.
In the business environment, a year often tends to be viewed as long-term. The only constant is change, and so the constant measuring of your plan will allow you to quickly adapt, be flexible, and keep your action plan for success relevant: no different to a good fitness plan.
Wishing you a good run on your business marathon…
Author: Damion Stander
About the Author
Damion Stander is an Executive Director at Business Doctors, a business support network in Cape Town dedicated to helping small and medium sized businesses achieve their vision. Business Doctors are passionate about sharing their skills and experiences to offer hands-on support to business owners, enabling them to take control of their business – by working ON and not IN their business – and giving business owners the freedom to achieve their aspirations for growth.