Your Business Strategy Sorted: How To Plan Ahead
Do you ever feel like you’re always two steps behind in your business strategy? If you spend most of your time putting out old fires instead of blazing new trails, it might be time to rethink your approach to business. Whilst every business can have its problems, it will make the world of difference if you are actively prepared to face them head on. In other words: if you are proactive, instead of reactive, in your business strategy.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, firstly you need to understand what it means to be proactive. By definition, a proactive person is one who “creates and controls a situation rather than just responding to it after it has happened”. Quite simply, being proactive means that you engaged, active, and prepared - you will take initiative in improving your business and will take preventative measures in case any new challenges present themselves. On the other hand, being reactive means that you’re responding to events after they occur. Essentially, you will sit back until you can no longer resist the flames, and because you will have failed to anticipate the fire, you won’t have that all important extinguisher prepared!
With this in mind, it is easy to see why being proactive in business is so important. Being proactive will help you to manage and handle situations with limited interruption, helping you to keep your business strategy on track. You are much more likely to be able to meet your goals if you are not being constantly side-tracked and distracted by relentless flames. Result!
Call us modest but we’d like to think of ourselves as experts in proactive business strategy. The good news for you? We have gathered our top four tips in how make the switch from a reactionary business strategy to one that is much more proactive.
Looking back and reflecting on what your business has done well, as well as looking at what didn’t go to plan, is a key part of any proactive business strategy. It’s not always easy but it is worth sitting down and having a real honest think about your past decisions and actions. Sometimes getting an outsider’s perspective can also be an invaluable experience so, if you can, be sure to ask for feedback from colleagues, friends, or family. This process should prevent you from repeatedly making the same mistakes and can also help you capitalise on what worked well. By evaluating the actual outcome of your actions compared to the intended outcome, it can also help you keep your focus and stay on track to achieve your targets. Reflecting will allow you to gain insight and will place you in a strong position moving forward to predict future challenges…
Proactive people are rarely taken by surprise. They have a deep understanding of how things operate and understand the patterns, routines, and natural cycles that exist in business. Predicting market trends, future obstacles, or new opportunities is, therefore, an invaluable part of planning ahead for your business strategy. If you predict what’s going to happen in the near future for your business, based on what’s happened before or what’s happening for your competitors, it will prepare you for any potential obstacles. Also, this will place you in a stronger position to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves to you. After all, foresight gives us increased power to shape and plan our own future.
Both reflection and prediction will help you to plan your business strategy in advance. This can help you balance strategies that have proven to be successful with ones that may carry greater risk. This will ensure that your business remains secure, whilst also allowing you to take chances and test out new ideas. It is important to remember that a business plan is not a checklist nor a single permanent document - it is likely to change over time as your business develops. All you need to do is stay on top of it. As they say, plan to prepare or prepare to fail!
Planning won’t prevent any disasters from happening, but it will help you to weather the storm and prevent them from escalating. If your strategy is more reactive, you might find that you waste a lot of time and resources fixing problems that could have been easily avoided or solved instantly. It may seem like a lot of effort to plan for all of the “what ifs”, but it’s always better to be prepared than to be caught off guard! Trust us, it is worth it in the long run!
So, there you have it. Four things you need to keep in mind when planning to be proactive with your business. Here at the it’seeze franchise, we strongly encourage all our business partners to adopt a more proactive approach, and we offer ongoing support to help them do just that. To find out more about our franchise opportunity, get in touch today.
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