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Small Business Growth, Best Practices, Business Planning

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Operational system development is vital for the small business entrepreneur yet it seems to be the least discussed aspect of a successful enterprise. With limited resources, such as time, money, and staff, to assist with day-to-day operations, running your business as efficiently and effectively as possible is important. Unfortunately, any business not operating efficiently will soon find themselves out of business.

The operational system that works best for your business depends upon several factors including your business model, the products and/or services offered, and your personal operational style. Regardless of your individual situation, there are a number of systems to address to keep your business running smoothly.

Financial Management. Although this may be considered the most “painful” part of your business, it actually keeps you in business when it’s well managed. Establish a system that allows for effective inventory control, cash management, and accounting information. Add a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to help you understand financial statements and you have a winning combination. (For more information, ask me about the Accounting and Financial Growth Assessment.)

Legal Management. You likely will not need an in-house attorney for your growing business; however, its important to have a trustworthy business attorney on retainer to make sure your business has the proper legal protection. This includes business license and/or permits, legal agreements with clients, subcontractors and/or suppliers, and trade secret protection through copyrights, trademarks, and/or patents.

Business Management. Who keeps the business functioning day-to-day and plans for its future? Why, you do, of course! Keeping one eye on today and the other focused on the future is a tall order given your many responsibilities yet it’s vital to your success. Analyzing critical data, measuring it against your projected goals, and tweaking your strategic plan keeps you focused and on track.

Marketing Management. Consistently getting the message out to your target audience can be challenging for the small business entrepreneur. Like many entrepreneurs, the day ends before your “to do” list. By systematizing your marketing efforts, you’ll be assured your business is at the forefront of your market place without fail.

Office Management. Who would imagine that office operations could be transformed into a competitive advantage? The proper equipment, software, and supplies significantly reduces costs and increases performance (fewer errors, faster service delivery, etc.) so you can function as a first-class operation.

Resources invested in developing your operational systems pays dividends in saving time, reducing your stress, making it easier to manage the many aspects of your business, trimming unnecessary cost and waste, and ensuring your time is spent where you gain the greatest payoff – in front of your clients.

Someone once said, “People don’t plan to fail—they fail to plan.” Undoubtedly, none of us plan to fail but without an ongoing business planning process in position, we certainly are planning to be overwhelmed, distracted, and pulled off course on a regular basis.

As small business entrepreneurs who willingly adopt an ongoing business planning process, we can enjoy that “pot of gold” of greater efficiency, effectiveness, productivity, clients, and revenue…no matter how much business planning makes your stomach turn.

To support your planning and performance efforts, we created the Daily Goal Planner.

Its purpose is twofold: keep you focused on the most critical activities to move your business forward and shift you from “doing your business” to “growing your business”. You can download it here for free. With your weekly plan for success in place, you’re ready to properly plan each day to make sure your primary focus is on actions directly linked to achieving your goals.

Using the Daily Goal Planner, follow these five steps to move toward your goals each and every day:

1. Enter your Long Term Goals.

The primary importance of setting goals is to provide direction and purpose. Clear, concise goals keep you focused and precede success. When setting your goals, be sure they are SMART—specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. The duration of a long-term goal varies from business-to-business; however, most experts recommend a period of 3-5 years

2. Record your Short Term Goals.

The period of effectiveness for a short term goal, much like the long-term goal, is business-dependant. When establishing the time duration for your business, select that which gives you the greatest degree of clarity and focus. For most, this is one month. Make sure your short-term goal(s), aligns with your long-term goal(s)

Although the Daily Goal Planner allows you to enter and save data, we strongly recommend you re-enter your long and short-term goals each day to reinforce your direction and strengthen your goals.

3. Determine your Top Priority.

Although it seems like everything takes precedence, when it comes to achieving goals, your top priority consist of the most important project and/or action that advance your short and long-term goals.

4. Design your day.

Equipped with the top priority needed to further your short and long-term goals, you’re ready to plan your day. Considering all previous commitments, set aside the time required to accomplish your top priority.

5. Catalog your To Do.

This is where you list other actions in need of your attention for the day. Be careful not to list more than what realistically can be completed given your known time availability.

With your goals clearly defined and focused on your top priorities, you are ready to launch a high performance day. Here’s to planning for success! It’s magically delicious!

Core Business Assessment


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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