You’re questioning whether your business is viable and whether you’ve got the ‘right stuff’ to run it and make it a success. You have the vision, you have the desire and you really, really want to make it work, but the trouble is, it’s just not happening for you…

Could it be that you’re looking too far into the future?

One big reason I see small businesses stagnating or even failing is because the owner – you – are laser focused on the end goal, which is way off in the distant future. This creates long-sightedness and takes your attention away from the now, preventing you being able to connect what you’re doing right now, to where you want to be at the end.

Not to be misunderstood, that distant future goal is vital to keep you moving forward, but it’s too far, too big a step to take right now.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” Lao Tzu

Strategic planning

You know me by now. And you know I’m an advocate of strategic planning that encapsulates your vision, mission, and objectives, and considers customer attraction and how you deliver your promise. However, procrastination can be fueled when looking at taking big steps. It feels like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, that you’ll never make that leap or that the vision is bigger than you.

Your vision is NEVER bigger than you – you are the vision! But without bringing it in closer, and without making shorter term plans, you will feel overwhelmed and risk stagnating or failing.

Getting down to the strategy of executing yearly, 90-day and monthly tasks prevents doubt creeping in and reduces the risk of getting lost outside of your comfort zone. This strategy creates big enough steps that you’re pushed to the edge of your comfort zone, and your business moves forward without being so small that nothing seems to change.

Now you’re ready to create milestones and activities that are specific, measurable, achievable and realistic. Once you’ve reached one milestone, you’ve effectively created a stable foundation or platform, from which to take the next step.

Dealing with obstacles along your thousand-step journey

Looking too far into the future may also distract you from obstacles that may occur in the shorter time frame. Having a ‘big picture’ view of your business and where you’re taking it prevents you from looking in detail at what might crop up to get in the way of those smaller steps.

Not recognising obstacles and distractions, or not being prepared for them will potentially de-stabilise your platform.

My final word for this blog, is a long-term vision without strategy and planning is just a dream. Don’t be afraid of putting in the hard work that’s needed to move your business forward.

If you feel like you’re stagnating or on the brink of failure, or if you need help to start formulating a short-term strategy, get in touch. I’m happy to help with an hour of free business mentoring where I will act as a sounding board, and share my knowledge and experience to get you thinking closer to home.

You may also be interested in my blog, ‘SMATER goals, business jargon?’ and ‘A growth mindset to find success in business’.

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