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simple strategic plan

Build A Strategic Plan That Follows the KISS Principle

By Asa Beavers | planning

Here’s the sometimes familiar inter-voice of a small business owner…

“I really need to build a plan for my business this year. But we’re busy and I don’t have time for that now. Anyways, what we’re doing now is working pretty good. Sure it could be better, and I know planning could help. But how do I get started? What format should I use? I’ll tell you what, let’s just stick with what we’re doing now and maybe get around to it in a month or so when things aren’t so hectic.”

First off, planning shouldn’t be a once a year thing, or something you do when there’s nothing else going on. Your business is dynamic and ever-changing and so too should your plan. And second thing, it has to be fairly simple so it doesn’t take huge time investments.

So here’s a few tips based on the K.I.S.S. philosophy (Keep It Simple Stupid). By the way, Stupid is that inter-voice that keeps you from doing the things you know are important.

Here's how to quiet that inter-voice and make planning part of your business DNA...

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understand how money works

Understand Critical Mass and Build a Self-Sustaining Business

By Asa Beavers | financial management

A business is a living thing, and living things change. Like trees, your business is either growing or it’s dying. It’s dynamic and it’s changing. It may be because the economy forces it to, or because customers need change, or because employees change, or because new products and services enter the market, or because a new competitor enters the market. There could be a dozen reasons. But those changes occur, and you may not be aware of them at first. They are often hidden. If the changes are bad, and you’re not on top of them quickly enough, they can destroy your business.

One of the best ways to identify how things are changing in your business is to be plugged into the numbers. When you plug into the numbers you will have a better understanding of what cash flow is and figure out in advance where it’s going to come from.

If your goal is to build a profitable business, here's ideas on how to measure your progress...

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setting expectations

Here’s How to Set Clear Expectations

By Asa Beavers | managing people

As a leader in your business people are looking to you for direction. Everyday you have opportunities to elevate the performance of your employees. These are coachable moments where your role is to help your employees reach their full potential. The real question here is, “how are you doing at this?”

As busy leaders we often overlook these moments and lose the opportunity to show how much we care about our employee and their performance, whether it is through encouraging good work, or challenging poor performance. We especially avoid coaching poor performance because we may think that if we ignore the problem it will go away, or we choose to avoid the confrontation, or if it’s a minor issue we don’t want to make a big deal of it.

But the fact is, people crave feedback from their leader and you have to find ways of letting employees know that what they do matters to you. Good performance matters to you and should be encouraged. Poor performance matters to you and should be challenged.

Here are some ways even the busiest business owners can quickly and easily coach their team members...

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keeping customers coming back

The Mystery Of The Forgotten Customer

By Asa Beavers | customer retention

“Thank you for your business. Hope to see you again soon.” How many times have you heard that in your life as a consumer? As a business leader what irks me most about that statement is the word “hope”. Hope is not a business strategy, yet our team members use it as a parting gesture as our customers are leaving our business for what could be the last time. If we allow the customer to walk out of our business without securing some way of staying in contact with them, they soon can become one of the forgotten.

When you have customers who have bought from you, doesn't it make sense to find ways to get them to return again and again? If you're not doing this already , start here...

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leadership sets direction

When Leadership Veers Off Course

By Asa Beavers | leadership

In case you’re wondering, leaders make mistakes too. Leaders can veer off-course just like anyone, sometimes creating havoc in their wake. They’re human just like you and I, but the difference is, they chose to put themselves front and center. Whether leading a large company or institution, a middle manager leading a work team, an entrepreneur leading a small business, or a volunteer taking a lead role in a church or school, being a leader requires an individual to put themselves out there for all to see, judge and critique. When things are going good their stock rises and those following feel secure. But when that leader stumbles and brings into question their ability to lead, the grumbling begins and that feeling of security starts to crumble.

As a leader of a small business it's easy to become distracted, and when you are it can have these consequences...

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