To be a strategic thinker

The greatest crutch word of any small business is strategic… You will find that if you drop the word strategic in your business meetings it can create the perception that you are in fact strategic and to might even help to encourage your customers to belief that you are indeed strategic. Try it – if you say it enough, you will also start believing in yourself. But what exactly does it mean to be strategic?

Being strategic means continuously asking the question “Why?”.  It is the best way to deconstruct an issue down to its purest form and assists with identifying the true core of a problem. Research – it is vital for any business to first conduct research with regards to an issue. Engaging in a research phase provides you with the opportunity to filter through all the content and information regarding the specific issue that allows you to learn from others’ mistakes. Truly understanding your customers is also an important reason for conducting research. Next, you need to support your ideas to resolve the issue with numbers. It is important to show your work to your investors, customers or even your employees. Whether you have calculated or projected the numbers doesn’t matter. Just as long as you can show the benefits of your ideas in terms of numbers such increased sales and your return on investment.

Whenever you are working on a project, it is always beneficial to do just that little bit extra. It might be generating one more idea to resolve the issue, sending one more email before you go knock off for the day, making a to-do-list the night before you present your ideas to your investors, a customer or employees, or even getting up 10 minutes earlier to go over your work one more time. Furthermore, you will find it essential to always measure your work. Measuring the work you do is not just helpful to keep track of your wins, but it is also a good way of understanding and learning from you losses.

Most importantly, strategic means keeping in mind that the customer is the only thing that matters. Customers is why you have a job and it is the only component that actually sustains a business. Also, a customer can be your best or your worst marketer. It has been proven in various research studies that bad customer service interactions are more likely to be shared than the good ones. So always keep in mind to resolve an issue with the customer’s best interest in mind. Remember, the customer is key to any strategic plan…

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