Some business owners are great at being proactive: seeing potential issues before they arise and developing a game plan to get in front of them. Others are far more reactive, constantly chased by one problem after another. When it comes to proactive vs. reactive, what type of business owner are you?
If you find yourself in the reactive camp, it can leave you feeling exhausted and out of control. In Brian Moran's appearance on The Growth Lab Show, he talks about what you can do to become a proactive business owner rather than a reactive one. So, what exactly does he suggest? We’ll take a look at some approaches below.
Know Your Goals
The first step to becoming a proactive business owner is taking ownership of your goals. Many industries are undergoing tremendous change, and with the speed at which things move online, there is always some new trend or angle to chase.
If you go after every new idea that comes down the pipe, you’ll always find yourself pulled in a million directions and unable to succeed at anything. This is why it’s important for you to define your business’s goals.
Once you’ve defined those goals for yourself, you can use them as your North Star to set your business plan and greater strategy. Every move you make should be in service to this goal.
Get Brian's tips for setting yourself up for success, including setting your goals, in our Lab Notes here.
Understand What Makes You Different
The other key to developing a great business plan is understanding what sets you apart from the competition. Because of the internet, consumers searching for a good or service often encounter tens, hundreds, or even thousands of options!
Again, if you try to be everything to everyone, you will find yourself always lagging behind. Instead, hone in on your value proposition and lean into it.
The best way to find out what makes you special is to ask your existing customers. What is it that they value most about you? Sometimes the answers will surprise you and lead you to something truly unique that sets you apart.
Invest in Your Business Plan
Once you know what you want to do and what your customers value most about you, it’s time to use that information to create a comprehensive business plan. Creating a business plan can be daunting for a lot of business owners, but fortunately, there are many resources online to help guide you through the process.
The most important part of putting together a business plan is making sure you actually use it. So many business owners go through the trouble of creating a plan and then shove it in a desk drawer, where it is never seen or heard from again.
Your business plan should be a living document. Keep it on your desk. Refer to it often. And as you begin to learn more about your business and the way it operates, don’t be afraid to tweak your plan. It should grow with you, rather than weigh you down.
Get Your Team in an Innovation Mindset
If you’ve been running your business in a reactive way, it can be hard to change – for sound reasons, rooted in psychology. One of the biggest hurdles is getting your team on board. If they’re used to waiting for change to hit them, rather than driving change and innovation from within, that can be a tough habit to break.
Communication is key. Organize a day outside of the office, dedicated to sharing your new business plan and encouraging innovative thought. Then once you’re back in the office and moving forward with this new way of working, establish a means of regularly checking in with your team to gather their feedback and ideas.
Running your business from a reactive standpoint is not only harmful to you and your team’s engagement – it’s harmful to the health of your business. When you take the time to invest in your business plan and the innovative spirit of your team, you can switch to a happier, healthier, more proactive business.