Welcome to 2020.
It’s that time of year, great weather, schools are back, traffic has returned, and for most people the run-in towards the end of the Financial Year has begun. We know the election will be September 19, so let the political fun and games begin.
During the break most of us should have spent some time thinking about the remainder of the financial year, and the start of the next/new financial year. With the ongoing challenges in business it’s easy to wonder if you are on the right path. The pressure of this time of year can be immense with year-end processes and compliance demands only growing.
It is easier said than done, but before becoming consumed by all the important stuff, it is important to review your strategy as well as the tactical decisions you have made so far.
Having a strategy is critical if you want to progress, it provides you with the means to make decisions when faced with choices. Chopping and changing strategy is not going to end well, it is like turkeys voting for an early Christmas. It is critical that you review and examine the tactical decisions you have made in your business over the last year, and be set to make some decisions on tactics between now and the end of the financial year.
Business is an iterative activity, test and retest should be the way you approach your tactical decisions in the business. Like the secret of good comedy, timing plays a major part in decision making. We have been helping businesses build frameworks on how to measure and test decision making when it comes to tactics. If you have a framework* in place you can plan to test a number of factors. Some of the most common factors that you should be testing are:
- Funding and
As your business evolves, your needs change, and often banks are not proactive about recognising your changing needs, i.e. they are still thinking about you as the 2017 version of your business. You are better to be on the front foot with your bank as we know they are best at providing umbrellas when it isn’t raining.
- Market analysis
This is multi-faceted and should cover your supplier relationships, customer relationships, staff relationships, competitors and bell-weather industries and indicators.
and local influences
How do world events and changes, from local elections, currency trends, and events like the Hong Kong protests, US election, Coronavirus, etc. impact your business? And how do you prepare for shocks and uncertainty?
When was the last time you asked do my business advisors and personal advisors get where I am going, and are they fit for purpose? This has to be based on more than trust, which is critical. In an open and clear relationship your advisors will want you to be getting the best advice, but you need to help them to help you. Providing regular updates and development sessions will ensure everyone can be prepared for the times ahead.
Once you have developed the habit of testing your tactics, and measuring your strategy you can then make time to address the bigger picture questions, and your purpose in the business. Reconfirming why you are in business is important, and so is thinking about succession – whatever shape that may take. Having an independent ear for that discussion can be helpful as this is an emotional conversation to have.
You need to be able to hear if your ‘reality check’ is going to bounce.
Can you honestly look at your business and say it is better than the day before? If so, then you are making progress.
One of the most powerful video’s I have seen is this from Simon Sinek. Take some time and invest in watching this video.
Let me know what you think, and if you would like to meet and discuss any of the themes and/or to develop your own framework to test and retest your business decisions.
*What is a framework? A flash-harry calendar/diary with prompts and approaches to various people/organisations with tactics on how to have the difficult conversations and to measure the outcomes on your business.