Hitting the Pause button and consider what is your mission or purpose can make the difference between people who are always chasing fires and those who have a fire inside them.
This past week I had the privilege of facilitating the Annual Sandwich Chamber of Commerce board retreat. Almost 20 members of the board found it important enough to take time out of their day and evaluate where they are and where they going, but most importantly, why? It might surprise you to find that only a few boards of any organization actually take the time to research their statistics, have a professional moderate the discussion and keep things moving forward. But more important than that, make action plans. I provided a review of how other chambers work, the challenges they face, and their innovative approaches. I shared the research on the business environment, a complete list of all businesses in their community along with SIC code and we focused, focused, focused. Six hours later, assignments were made and efforts were selected not because we always do it that way, but because it represented our mission.
Taking the time from your business to consider what's next is critical. But not just because you are think about it, because you have done the homework. I meet business owners all the time who have no business plan. In fact, when we talk about they truly believe you only need one when you go to a bank for finances. The reason banks want you to do the "homework," is because they use the data and evaluations as a measuring point as to the viability of your business. A mission statement can be a great start.
Here is a simple planning idea. Take the calendar and look at each of the twelve months. Project one thing you will do that supports your mission each month. Consider what you will do each month that focuses on Marketing, Sales and Customer Service. Oops I forgot to mention, that something is meant to be an activity that is new. Not just a repeat of what you are already doing. I am reading a book entitled, "The Start Up of You," written by the cofounder of Linkedin, Reid Hoffman says, there is a new "F" word and that is "Finished;" We are never finished, we should always be growing and innovating.
It isn't too late to start and say how will my business be different and what will I do differently.