To run a business, whether it’s a multinational corporation, a fintech startup or a new, small business run between your spare bedroom and the post office, is to be a decisionmaker. Every day you’re faced with problems, opportunities, decision points that could determine the future of your business, whether it’s only for that day or for years to come.
Today we’re taking a look at how you can make those decisions – the factors you need to weigh, the pitfalls you need to avoid and the help you need to seek to feel confident that you’re making the right choices for you and for your business.
The Lure of the Short Term
Especially in the early days, it’s easy to get lured into making short-term decision after short-term decision. You have few resources, your attention is stretched thin, and, after all, many of the challenges you face are short term in nature. Most small businesses are simply trying to survive and grow for a few more days, weeks, months, until they’ve bedded in with a loyal base of customers and become more secure.
The problem with taking your eye off the long term is that you lose sight of how your decisions work together to create effects that last. This delayed order, that cheap pallet of stock, a marketing push thrown together quickly to capitalise on a gone-tomorrow opportunity all contribute to how customers think of your business, and create the image they use to make their decisions about it. If you’re not thinking strategically about how these short term decisions live on in the long term, you could seriously undermine the brand you’re trying to build. Short terms that undermine your long term future are really no gains at all.
A meeting with a business strategy consultant might help. They can help you devise the goals you need to steer your business into a long term future, and find the right ways to strive towards those goals without undermining yourself. If you’re interested in strategy consultancy London hosts many agencies of different sizes so you should be able to find a service to fit your budget!
One of the best things you can do to make sure your decisions are accomplishing what you need them to is to use data. In some ways business is a highly romanticised field, and aspirational stories abound of bullish CEOs following their gut instincts and getting amazing results. Unfortunately in the real world the best thing you can follow is not your gut instinct, but data.
Using market research, and competitive intelligence can help you shape your decisions around what your two key groups are thinking – your customers and your competitors. This means you can tailor your offering better towards your audience while finding the white space in the industry left to you by your competitors. Rather than competing directly, find out what they’re not doing, and do that!