Thursday, October 18, 2012

BOSS Entrepreneurs – Ready to take a walk on the “skinny branch” in 2013? By Malla Haridat

As a women’s entrepreneurship coach, I am a big believer in setting goals and creating plans to execute on those goals.  But alongside the goals and plans, you have to be willing to step away from the day to day for brief periods and assess how the business is delivering against your long term vision.  What do you see for your company in the next 10, 20 years?  What are you doing to reach that goal?

It’s too easy to get bogged down in the day to day work and become comfortable with your current income.  I just spent a week with my bookkeeper to get several expense reports finalized.  (And I consider myself semi organized!  Lol)  When you have a steady stream of clients or customers, it’s a common trap to focus only on the “get done now” tasks.

Even if your sales are not where you desire, you can still get too focused on the daily work of finding immediate customers.  How often do you spend pitching to larger clients that require a ton of research, relationship building, and longer sales cycles?  What have you done to develop a long term marketing campaign rather than just maintaining your daily social media updates?  Are there new team members that you need to be identifying?  Where do you need to position yourself to meet them and attract them to your company?

I had a client recently recognize that she was too focused on working with her current client roster and missing the big picture.  She turned down a contract with an existing client for the opportunity to spend a few months brainstorming, creating, and planning for 2013.  As this is not a client who “has it like that”, I commended her for taking this bold step to turn down immediate income in the pursuit of asking tough questions about where she wants to be in the next ten - twenty years.  She recognizes she needs to take an honest look at her numbers and develop a new marketing plan as she is currently dependant on only a few clients.

I challenged her to think about a big strategic risk that would really challenge her.  Something that almost scares her to put on her list.  A big hairy audacious goal that would position her as an industry leader – not just another service provider and would make a major impact to her bottom line.  A stretch. Lisa Nichols calls it “taking a walk on the skinny branch” and it’s a habit that I think more women entrepreneurs need to adopt.

I’m hoping she’ll consider a rehaul of her website, speaking engagements, and other opportunities that will get her in front of her target market.

For myself, I will be implementing a public relations campaign as one of my top goals for 2013.  Sure it costs money and takes time out of my day to day.  It will cause all types of new opportunities….. and bring new challenges.  But I have examined those who are successful in their industry.  And guess what?  PR definitely is key.

Now it’s just figuring out how to fulfill on all of the opportunities that come my direction.
So let me offer this post as a challenge to you – take some time away from the day to day of your business.  Be creative.  Think about what goals you need to consider that will really stretch you.  Find a coach or mentor that will challenge your list –so that you know it’s a real stretch and you are not just coming up with a nice neat goal list from your prior years.

I’d love to hear what stretch goals you create.  Share your insights and thoughts!

For more information on Malla Haridat follow her at @MallaHaridat

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