Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Improve Your Business

Stay Ahead Of The Curve
by “Independent Executive” Chuck Boyce

It’s often difficult for entrepreneurs and business owners to look beyond the hectic day-to-day pace of their business responsibilities.  Time is at a premium; and so are money and resources.
Any small business coach or executive business coach, however, will tell you that not looking past today can cost you plenty tomorrow.

There’s an old saying:  “Stay ahead of the curve.”  Translation?  Keep your eyes open for change before it happens – so you’ve already thought through how you’re going to make critical adjustments before it’s too late.

Here are a few suggestions on how you can stay ahead of the curve, no matter what your business is:
Many smart entrepreneurs will carve out a few hours every week (Friday afternoons, when everything is winding down, are often popular) to review their business operation from a “Big Picture” perspective.  This requires a certain objectivity and distance to do correctly.  If you do put this into practice, always make sure you end each session with some “Action Points” to apply to your business that will help it react to current marketplace conditions.
Everyone wants to think there’s nowhere to go but up in their particular business category.  When they associate with others in the same industry, there’s often a little bit of groupthink going on – everyone reinforces each other’s optimism. Let’s recall a few years ago when the entire financial community bet everything that real estate prices would never, ever take a substantial drop.  To avoid the echo chamber, seek out other opinions from those in other industries on how they view your business sector – and if they feel it’s headed for growth or rough times.
In case you weren’t aware, the internet isn’t just for shopping or playing games – it’s also the most amazing source of information in the history of mankind.  It’s easy to find reputable sites that analyze current business trends, as well as suggesting new ways of both saving money and making it.   If you don’t already seek out this kind of valuable (and generally free) business advice, put it on your to-do list.

Doing your research also involves attending seminars and trade shows where you can network as well as catch up on cutting-edge trends.  The more you expose yourself to, the more well-rounded you are in terms of running your business.  That ultimately makes you quick with the right response whenever business conditions change or a new opportunity crops up.

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