How Do Smart Entrepreneurs Get Out of the Weeds
This issue our expert mentor is Brian Moran, the founder and CEO of Brian Moran & Associates. Moran’s been involved in some capacity in the small business universe for about 25 years.
Community Q: I’ve been in business for several years now, and I’m so busy running the day-to-day, taking care of my clients, trying to keep the sales pipeline full that I never have time to plan and strategize like I did when I just started out. I know my business is suffering. What can I do?
Brian Moran: You’re not alone. Every day millions of business owners wake up, reach for their smartphones and start putting out fires. Their feet haven’t even hit the floor and they find themselves dealing with a shipping problem, an angry customer or a vendor that wants to get paid. Welcome to the weeds of your business.
Getting stuck in the weeds means you can’t see more than a few feet in front of you. The problems you’re dealing with are immediate; not the issues that require long-term solutions. It also means opportunities are passing you by. You miss them because you can’t see over the weeds. At some point, you ask yourself “How do other business owners manage to pull themselves away from the day-to-day chaos of running a company long enough to see what business looks like from 20,000 feet?”.
Realistically, you know there will always be fires to put out, angry customers to calm down and invoices that need to be paid yesterday. However, you also know that to be successful in the long-run, you need to see what the market, and your business, will look like in the next 3-6-12 months. Where are the opportunities? What about the potholes, pitfalls and detours?
I realize you’re saying you don’t have the time, but even the busiest business owner can carve out one day a month for strategic planning. Even devoting a few hours a week to strategizing helps you avoid dead ends and ultimately saves you time and money.
If you want to be a smart and successful business owner, it’s a necessity for you to see your world from 20,000 feet. Bring your key employees, business advisors, attorney, accountant and anyone else that plays a key role in your company along for the view. They can help by seeing opportunities and obstacles that you may overlook. Run these meetings monthly and soon you will have a much better view of the path to success.