I was fortunate enough to join the illumin8 team right before their annual retreat mid last year. Great, I thought, an opportunity to have a laugh and get to know the people I will be working with. And whilst it was an awesome chance to have some fun and connect with the team (beer pong and flip cup were a few highlights), it was about so much more than that.
The clarity that came with a few solid days away from the office was amazing. As a group, we were able to focus on who we are, what makes us different and define our values. We shared stories of what is working and what could be improved, and most importantly, have a clearly defined plan for the next year. This will become so valuable when we inevitably get bogged down in the day to day ‘doing’ and will keep us all accountable.
As a small business owner outside my illumin8 life, learning how to clearly define our strategy has been instrumental in our success. For the first few years of establishing and running the business, all our time and focus was spent on increasing our customer base without much consideration of if we were acquiring the right type of customer. After an exhausting and not particularly fruitful few years, we concluded that we were lacking any clear direction. Enter strategic planning! Allowing ourselves a break from the daily grind to really consider what set us apart from our competitors, who our target clients were (and how we were going to get them!) and how to increase our profit margins has seen our business revenue increase over 10-fold.
So, here are my top 4 reasons to make time to strategise:
Clearly defined business objectives
What differentiates you from your competitors? What are you trying to achieve in the short and medium term?
Make setting priorities easier
As any small business owner knows, time is key! There is simply not enough of it. Having a clearly defined strategy helps ensure you are spending time on the right activities to grow your business.
See the whole business
What working? What’s not? You simply can’t hide from these things when reviewing your business strategy
Encourage your team to contribute ideas. Ensuring the whole team is along on the journey of your goals will ensure personal accountability, critical for success!
Taking 2 days out of the office and away from home is a big ask for most small businesses. Who will respond to clients? What if there is an emergency? We just have too much to do to take time away are all (understandable) catch cries. But the reality is, we just can’t afford not to make time to do this. So, hop to it!
If you need help with your business strategy, or just want to chat through some ideas and gain some perspective, give the team at illumin8 a call on 9787 6872.