A delicate balance exists between running your business on a daily basis and strategizing for tomorrow. The good news is that small business entrepreneurs do spend a generous amount of time thinking about their future. The bad news is that it’s done on-the-fly and on-the-run.
Is that the kind of quality strategic thinking that moves the needle when it comes to business growth?
Several years ago, I enrolled in the MDE (Management Development for Entrepreneurs) program at UCLA Anderson School of Business. It was a course held on campus every Friday for 6 months. We cringed at the idea of leaving our business “unattended” for 8 hours! We were so caught up in the daily operation of our business yet we also realized the need for dedicated time to think more deeply about our futures.
Importance of Strategic Thinking
Thinking about the future of your business in an organized manner is essential to growing your small business. Although it won’t allow you to predict the future, it empowers you to shape your future.
Dedicated time for strategic thinking challenges the status quo. It gets you out of the “business as usual” mindset and trains your brain to see things that are new and vital to the future of your business. Because you’re better informed about your business, your decision making produces better quality decisions.
Time to Think Strategically
As business owners, we need to make time to think strategically. We can’t just be operationally busy all the time. We need to escape the day-to-day business operations to achieve a strategic perspective.
How much time does one allocate for strategic thinking? That varies from entrepreneur-to-entrepreneur. Because of current commitments, it may be necessary to ease into it by blocking out 1% of your schedule for uninterrupted, quality strategic thinking. If you generally work 40 – 60 hours each week, this is only 40 – 60 minutes. Every 2 weeks increase the percentage of your strategic thinking time until you are able to readjust your schedule to accommodate 10% of your time.
During your strategic thinking time, explore the issues in your business. Look to see what’s happening around you, in your business, and in your industry. What’s changing? How do you need to adapt to the changes? What opportunities exist? How can your business capitalize on them?
Thinking about the future is not linear. Regularly commit to a pre-determined quality amount of time each week influences the future of your business. Strategic thinking helps you shape that future.
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