Using your personal strategy to impact the building of your SME strategyAlighting upon a firm business strategy, however mobile it may be, is just as crucial as determining and exploiting a personal life-strategy that will see you achieve your dreams and goals. For SME’s, who currently face the most difficult economic climate for emerging businesses of the last forty years, establishing a firm strategy revolves around crucial steps and personal vision. A clear understanding of organisational strengths and your business’ competitive advantage is crucial when confronted with such a competitive landscape.
Charlie Hepburn of the Vivid Event Group based in Brighton determined the following elements of his personal strategy that have had the most significant impacted on his business strategy.
Personal / Professional Energy
Running a small business, especially one that is based outside of London, requires an extraordinary amount of personal energy and drive. Feeling energised and psychologically prepared for whatever the day is going to throw at you is a central element of my personal strategy for tackling life. We try very hard to infuse that throughout the business and maintain a certain degree of energy and preparedness across the team. Because you tend to dedicate so much of yourself to working it is easy to let basic elements around well-being go leaving you tired and demotivated. This is utterly metaphoric of what happens to a small business with one person at the helm whose energy is responsible for pushing the whole engine forward. Spreading and promoting the energy is thus twice as important and must become representative of a core business value in order to extract the best from every element of the work.
Knowing Yourself / Your Business Proposition
While this may seem like an obvious focus point when considering any business for development and success, many businesses fall down by not properly understanding or defining the proposition. In much the same way that our journey through life lead us to understand ourselves and certain practices that we actively put in place help us to further develop the rate and depth of personal understanding. Any intellectual learnings that help you to understand yourself better will also help you to understand the development and path of your business. As an SME it is very easy to become consumed with the day to day survival of your company as the challenges are just so astronomical and the pitfalls all too engulfing. However, a wider understanding with breadth and developed mechanisms for personal and professional learning is such an important element of progressing.
As a matter of course I try to record one or two key learnings from each day and encourage the team to do the same so that they can be discussed and expanded on, policies can be built around them if necessary and as a group of individuals we can grow as well as a business.
As a professional at the beginning of each year I like to set ten goals both personally and for the business, in truth they tend to overlap somewhat, as any SME owner will know it is near impossible to extricate yourself from your business. The process of planning the goals forces me to confront what my vision for the coming business year is and how we can build and improve on what was the year before. Alongside learning and reflecting on the previous year, its success and mistakes, it is useful to view what I saw the year’s goals as and how close we came.
As SME’s it is our responsibility to be constantly working and learning. We do a huge amount with other leaders in their industries, relying on the expertise of others to help us achieve the best possible result for our clients and as such are regularly exposed to the thoughts and practices of other small businesses, from whom you can always learn so much. Actively taking your business in your hand and developing it like a muscle that needs to be sculpted and worked differently at varying times allows such increased scope for your business growth.