Taking Control of Your Business: Learn to Act, Not React

Do you have a daily plan to control the success of your small business? Most small business owners have short and long term goals, but they lack the daily control systems necessary to advance toward those goals. On his blog The Small Business Guru, Andrew Brown lays out the steps necessary to ensure that you remain in control of your business, and that your business doesn't take control of you.

In Mr. Brown's article, he cites the work of Stephen Covey, author of the book First Things First, who uses the term "big rocks first" to illustrate the theory that a business owner must "advance the ball" (his goals) systematically each day, without letting the inevitable daily events that arise take him off course. The business owner must learn to Act on his business by carefully planning and goal setting each day, rather than losing control of his time by Reacting to voicemails, e-mails, and changing circumstances which can take his eye off the ball of reaching his business goals.

Mr. Brown provides this checklist for business owners to follow each day, before checking e-mail or voice-mail. In brief:

1) Prepare your environment – ensure that your desk is clean of clutter and trash, and put on soothing music if you like.

2) Brainstorm – get out what's on your mind onto paper and determine what needs to be acted upon today.

3) Review your goals – connect your goals to what can be done today.

4) Review projects and determine the next step for each – the next step should be something that can be accomplished today.

5) Review your calendar – for the day, week and month to avoid surprises.

6) Quickly SCAN your inbox, voicemail and regular mail – do not act on anything until you've had time to formulate a plan for your day.

7) Prepare your work plan – ensure that you have 3-5 substantive items that can be accomplished today. Setting a goal of 15 items will only set you up to fail. All business owners will have to allow time in the day to deal with urgent issues, returning calls, and responding to urgent e-mail messages.

Mr. Brown advises that having the discipline to execute this plan every day can move you toward your goals in a systematic way. For more, read the article Here.


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