At this time of year, with the first blossoms budding, there is a definite feeling that spring is in the air. Many people would say it’s a good time for a spring clean around the house. In business too, there is often a time where we must sit back, take stock and ‘spring clean’ what we do and how we do it. What we keep and what we clear out is based on some important decisions.
• Am I getting what I want out of my business?
• Is it helping me to fulfil the dreams and aspirations I have?
• What is making things more complicated for me, my staff, clients etc?
• How could I change?
• What could I do differently going forward?
• Most importantly, what goals am I setting for the season ahead?
Let’s look at a good spring cleaning regime for your business – one that covers all the practical aspects of running and operating a business, and one that also addresses the personal and cultural side too.
Step One – Set goals
In the season ahead, how will you define the choices you make? What will be your point of reference each time you make a decision? Just like setting your compass and finding ‘True North’ it is important to review your goals to determine the choices you will make. Will the season ahead be about growth or setting foundations, consolidation or acquiring?
You will find that once you have set your goals, your energy and effort will be focussed and directed in that area. It’s important to find goals that will energise, and motivate you, especially when some of your decisions may be difficult.
As an example, I recently met with the CEO of a mid-sized business that had been growing very fast. His market sector had taken a turn for the worst and he was faced with some agonisingly difficult choices. In discussing his situation, we identified that the mindset he was working to was ‘survival.’ This meant that most of his decisions and choices were around allowing him to just survive until the economy, the industry or something shifted.
When we explored how his choices would differ if his mindset and goals were turned around, he could see new pathways, choices and opportunities in what he had. It also energised him incredibly.
Once you have set your goals you can enlist the assistance of various businesses that are members of Bartercard to assist you in achieving them. For example, if your goal is growth there are accountants, financial advisors and business coaches to assist with cash flow projections and goal setting.
What goals will you choose for you and your business in the season ahead?
Step Two - The Practical
Break your business down into areas. In my business we use colours to code our areas. Red for support and administration (IT, accounting, HR, etc). Blue for all revenue (sales, marketing, product delivery and client support etc). Black for strategy (brand, new products or services, channels to market, etc).
With your goals in mind take each of these areas separately – and list:
• All the things that are going well and that you do well – i.e., things we must keep doing
• All the things that you know need to be done differently, or are no longer or will no longer serve your business within in the context you have created.
Looking at the first list of things that are going well, circle the ones that could aid you most to help you achieve your goals. How too can you leverage off these strengths to change the areas you would like to do differently?
Prioritise the areas you would most want to change/do differently and pick the first 2-3 only. Write a set of actions that would help you get those changes made fast.
Get your ‘commercial feather duster’ out and begin spring cleaning.
Step Three - The Personal and Cultural
Here is a simple tool that I love using to spring clean the personal and cultural rooms in my house. It is a simple matrix as follows:
|Context:“________”||STOP||LESS OF||SAME||MORE OF||START|
Again, with your goals in mind, ask yourself, “to achieve my goals, what could I stop having? What could I have less of? What could I have the same amount of or more of?
Do the same for ‘Do’ and ‘Be’. Once completed you have a great tool to keep you in check and guide you in the months ahead.
Happy spring cleaning...
Author: Duncan Redman
Team Leader – SA/NT
P: 08 8372 7852
F: 08 8372 7800
M: 0412 812 573
8 Greenhill Road
Wayville SA 5034