Strategic planning – working on the business, not in it

Posted 16/12/2014
Strategic planning – working on the business, not in it

Stepping away from the intricacies of your business to help it to grow sounds like a counterintuitive plan of attack. But more often than not that’s exactly what’s needed to take your business success to a whole new level. At Kirkwood Wilson Accountants we understand that taking a back seat can be a daunting prospect, so we’ve put together some helpful tips to help you to take that first backward step forward.

In those early days of launching a business you have no other choice but to perform several different functions quite apart from the core speciality that your business was built on. All of a sudden you’ve inherited the title of bookkeeper, accountant, office manager, marketing executive, and strategic coordinator to name but a few of the plates you’ve been spinning.

In truth, this situation is borne out of necessity. Start-up and fledgling business owners invariably don’t have the budget to outsource many, or any, of those responsibilities. However, as the business grows the temptation to hang on to much of the day-to-day running of the business could spread you far too thinly. Yes, you may have built this business singlehandedly but it’s going nowhere until you learn to delegate.

Twenty five years ago, author Michael E. Gerber wrote a best-selling business guide entitle ‘The E-Myth: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It.’ The premise of the E-Myth, or Entrepreneurial Myth, is the misconception that businesses are started by people who were born with a natural flair for business. In fact, the vast majority are started by ‘technicians,’ with little or no business acumen or experience, and that can be their undoing.

The challenge facing every Entrepreneur and Technician is to strike a balance of knowing when to be hands-on, when to step back and take a strategic overview, and when to delegate and trust the troops. As businesses grow the need for a third personality, the Manager, quickly becomes apparent. It’s often the Manager’s job to clean up after the other two!

Common issues and solutions

We’ve compiled some of the most common complaints we hear from entrepreneurs who’ve hit a glass ceiling in their business’s development. Here are a few scenarios, along with some handy suggestions:

If you’re wearing too many hats at once and find yourself constantly distracted and pulled in different directions by daily tasks, then it might be time to concentrate on wearing just the one hat that fits you best. Make an organizational chart with clearly defined positions and responsibilities and focus your attention on the areas that you’re most passionate about to drive your business’s vision.

If you’re struggling to pay the bills you might want to measure the pulse of your business with some careful cash flow projections. Of course, Kirkwood Wilson Accountants are ideally placed to assist you with this and by providing you with accurate revenue and profit models we can ease your cash flow burdens and allow you to concentrate on driving the business forward.

If your staff seem disengaged, and you have trouble holding on to your best employees, then focus on getting to know their personal and professional goals and ask for their feedback and thoughts at regular review meetings. Be proactive in helping them reach to their targets and address any challenges that might arise along the way.

If you feel like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day then it might be a good idea to start reviewing your activities. Diarise your workload, honestly and systematically, to see where the clear wins and losses have been and aim to address those areas that regularly seem to fall by the wayside. Try tracking your time in fifteen minute increments for three days and you may well see an upturn in productivity thanks to your greater time management awareness.

For more information about all our services please contact us on 01704 546000.

Posted 16/12/2014