Business transition invariably involves a lot of moving parts. And sometimes things just don’t add up. You run short of cash, can’t find good people, can’t find the tech help you need etc. For one reason or another, you’re feeling pressured and sometimes there’s no one at hand to help you sort things out.
This checklist contains questions that can help you organize your thoughts on how to proceed. So grab a favourite beverage, sit yourself down, and take some time to get clear.
What is the current situation?
Write down all relevant details using the present tense. Be honest. Record everything you can think of.
e.g. “We are running out of cash. We have creditors knocking on the door.”
“Our IT system is out-of-date but we need it to run our business every day so haven’t been able to fix this.”
What are the most pressing issues at hand?
List your most pressing issues. Cash, people, network, equipment, technology, and so on.
What are the top priorities?
Rate the issues you’ve listed, and choose your top 1-3.
What is the low-hanging fruit?
Who and what do you already know that can help you with the above? e.g. the resource may already be sitting in your contact database. You already have strengths and skills for solving the problem.
What can you do right away to address your top 1-3 priorities? e.g. select potential clients to call. Insert prospecting time in my calendar every day.
What are the barriers to accomplishment?
Internal barriers = limiting assumptions and beliefs, self-talk, feelings.
External barriers = lack of support, economic realities etc.
What strategies or strengths will I use to overcome these barriers to moving forward?
Combine your strengths with your low-hanging fruit, and put a plan together.
What new skills need to be learned and applied?
Business transition almost requires doing things outside our comfort zone. There are two main reasons owners get stuck. 1. they lack important information needed to make a decision or move forward. 2. they haven’t made it a priority to solve this problem. Ask yourself: “Do we have the skills and information we need to proceed in both leaders and team?” or ” Should we hire in the necessary skills?”
What processes need to be improved?
Consider all the areas of your business. Marketing, sales, customer experience, team and network, IT/data, finances. Where specifically do improvements need to be made that may help resolve your current situation?
What is our plan for acquiring these skills and improving these processes?
Information is widely available, but unless we carve out space in our calendar and make growth a priority, things are not likely to change much.
What adjustments need to be made in our daily calendars to create the new reality?
Look ahead and plan the space in your calendar for the changes you’re considering. e.g. weekly staff meeting, daily LinkedIn prospecting etc.
What would keep us from starting this on Monday?
Review your barriers and plan, and rock on!