Your Strategic Objective
Define your vision of the business as it must
be in order to achieve your Primary Aim--your
vision of what the purpose of your life is.
Your business should serve this vision. Your
Strategic Objective is a statement of what
the business will look like when it's done.
It is this vision that will keep you focused
Define the Results You Want
A good economy offers some slack. In a shrinking
economy, the fundamental questions don't change,
but your intensity of focus must increase.
You must have clearly defined results to keep
you on track.
Engage in Strategic Work
Getting the results you want through other
people is key. Strategic Work is most critical
during times of recession because your business
must operate at peak efficiency.
Systems, Systems, Systems
Establish and implement systems for every
aspect of your business. Especially important
in times of recession are systems for comprehensive
financial reporting. These will enable you
to make wise decisions regarding cash flow,
and to avoid reckless spending.
You must thoroughly understand the exact,
quantified impact every system, process, initiative
and innovation will have on your business.
How many new clients do you need to cover
losses? What can you do to trim variable expenses?
Is every product a viable income-producer?
Evaluate every aspect of your business in
terms of the contribution to the income and
value of your company.
Make sure you know exactly who your customers
are. Find the answers to the following questions
too, and act upon that information: What is
your product in the eyes of your customers?
Are your Client Acquisition (Marketing) methods
consistently effective on a daily basis? How
can you more efficiently communicate your
message to more of your Target Market? Where
can you strengthen your follow-through with
your aftermarket and referral programs?
Remove or find ways around any barriers preventing
your customers from getting what they need.
Always keep your promises to your customers
in the most cost-effective manner possible.
As the owner, your leadership is pivotal.
Think about what you can do as the leader
of your company to foster and enhance an awareness
of your vision in your employees. Consider
well-structured, regularly-scheduled company
meetings as a means for creating a stable
and cohesive work environment.
Seek the Truth
Diligently dig down to the truth about your
business. Now more than ever, you must think
with clarity and purpose, and make the necessary
adjustments to survive--even thrive--in a
challenging business environment.
Listen, Learn, and Innovate Whenever Possible
Keep your eyes and ears open. You never know
where the next great idea is going to come
from. It is important that you don't let the
bleak economic environment prevent you from
innovating. Innovation may very well be more
crucial now than ever before!
Michael Gerber is chairman and founder
of E-Myth Worldwide. He reminds you that the
opportunity is to go to work ON your life
not IN it, and in the process to experience
the sweet, radiant, extraordinary joy of the
fully-lived moment. His Web site is www.emyth.com.