Most entrepreneurs want to conduct proper growth planning for their businesses and even understand that doing so is essential to their success. Unfortunately, growth planning is continually interrupted and often falls through the cracks. This disruption is not caused by a lack of desire or a cavalier attitude to ‘wing it.’ So what is the problem? And how can it be solved?
Before discussing the factors to include in your growth plan, we need to understand and eliminate the roadblocks interfering with its development — otherwise, all the compelling advice will go to waste.
The 6 Common Hurdles to Growth Planning
Some prevalent challenges to planning are predictable, especially as your business enters Stage II of operations.
Common Hurdle #1: The Time Quandry
You spend your days like other CEOs – putting out fires. It’s a never-ending game of Whac-A-Mole. Given the volume of client projects and demands, it’s challenging to carve out additional time for plotting your future. As a result, the opportunity to think strategically about the outcome of your business is rare.
Common Hurdle #2: The Inadequate Insight into Trends and Competition
The inability to keep up with industry intelligence, trends, and competitors also relates to time. Insight into where your clients and competitors are heading is vital for strategic decisions. Unfortunately, finding time to garner these understandings is difficult.
Common Hurdle #3: The Fatigue Factor
Decision fatigue is real. The more decisions made in a day, regardless of size or consequence, the more we exhaust our ability to think clearly.
Often stress and worry about the future of the business occupy our sleep. Sadly, restless sleep also makes it challenging to awake rested and rejuvenated, ready for the day ahead.
Common Hurdle #4: The Misplaced Perspective
The adage, “too close to the forest to see the trees,” aptly applies to business. Unfortunately, we’re often too close to our situation to think decidedly or objectively to see the possibilities. An objective business advisor who understands your business and best interests can be instrumental.
Common Hurdle #5: The Disorganized Data
Missing data often ties back to a lack of time. Digging into our data can also be challenging. There’s frequently much of it that it is difficult to know what string to pull that unravels the information to make it user-friendly.
Yet, data removes emotion from decision-making. Subsequently, we make better-informed decisions to keep our business healthy and growing.
Common Hurdle #6:The Second Shift
Commitments don’t stop when you walk out of your office. Personal obligations are other barriers to the energy and clear thinking required for effective planning. In addition, caring for elderly parents or managing a busy household with kids in school and homework are often factors outside business hours that alter our capacity to plan.
Attempting to carve out time is a brain drain, and the second shift is real. Unfortunately, you’re not alone in your time crunch challenge.
The Solution? Micro Move Your Way Around the Obstacles.
It’s a bit of a pipe dream to expect any busy entrepreneur to carve out a large enough chunk of time to complete an entire 5-year growth plan in one sitting. You are, after all, not a corporation with hundreds of employees who can ensure the organization’s work continues while you’re off on a 3-day planning retreat. Plus, complete and exhaustive planning is not an activity we recommend for the already busy and overwhelmed entrepreneur. It’s time-consuming, draining, and quickly obsolete, given the pace of change in business today.
However, we have found a highly effective solution for devising your road map. It is influential not only in creating your plan but also in executing your desired intention.
Enter the mighty micro-movement!
Coined by a gifted entrepreneur, the micro-movement is a short stroke of activity. It’s one minor step in the right direction, one rung up the ladder. To repeat a well-known phrase, “it’s eating an elephant one bite at a time.” It’s baby steps toward your goal.
How do you productively apply a micro-movement? First, you use the “cracks of time” currently existing in your day.
“Cracks of time” are micro periods. For instance, it may be 15 minutes between meetings while you’re waiting on hold or when a project concludes on budget and ahead of schedule.
One of our favorite “cracks of time” at Synnovatia is when a meeting reschedules at the last minute. So rather than fill our calendar with minor tasks, we use the opportunity to march one more micro movement closer to the finish line.
You’ll be astonished at how quickly you’ll have sketched out your future by breaking down your growth planning into one question — one micromovement — at a time.
In addition, the seemingly slower pace of development will help you gain perspective. When you stand back and look over your projections, you can decide, with greater certainty, if your blueprint will bring you the joy, fulfillment, and goals you want to achieve.
The mighty micro-movement. It’s how you get from where you are to where you want to go — and it’s a game changer for entrepreneurs.