Your business has some specific things that must happen in order for it and you to be successful. You and I know this. The real question is, do you know what those activities are and how do you ensure that your business stays focused on these tasks day-in and day-out?
The minute that you say the word “strategic” to business owners, either their eyes start glazing over or they think that anything else you are going to say is some variation of business buzz words that they don't care about. I get that. However when it comes to having strategic objectives for your business, it's important that have these clearly defined and that you and your team are working towards these objectives.
So what are strategic objectives?
I define strategic objectives as simply the framework that your business creates to highlight the most critical tasks in your business. There should be a handful of these so that you can stay focused.
Why are strategic objectives important?
We have an epidemic of time wasting in our work culture because of all of the tools that we have that are supposed to help us do things more efficiently. E-mail, smart phones, social media, search engines are here to make our lives easier but can also be time killers if we don't manage them properly. In the book Fake Work, the authors discuss the inability of the average employee to align their work with the most important tasks in their company. There is also too many leaders who aren't communicating these properly if at all.
A great way for a small business owner to assess whether or not their work is aligned is in the area of marketing. How often have you gone to a networking event and met tons of potentially great relationships and then failed to call any of them? What about putting together a marketing plan and initiating it? If you are not doing these things you are probably neglecting critical areas of your business.
When our teams are properly aligned with strategic objectives. We have teams that are focused on the work that truly makes the company better and the business prospers as a result. You also get an engaged team who is truly excited about the work they do.
What are the roadblocks to aligning with strategic objectives?
One the biggest roadblocks is getting caught up in non essentials. Particularly e-mail. We tend to think that we need to respond to every interruption that comes our way and we don't.
Another roadblock is not clearly defining an end game for your business. Do you have a mission, vision and values? Do you have strategic objectives laid out for you and your team? If not then you aren't going to be as effective.
The end game for your business
When your team is focused on the most critical areas of success for your business, then you are positioning your business for a great possibility of success. Having objectives is not enough, you must align your team to be working towards them. This will result in better innovation, better service, better clients and a better overall team and business.