What do the most successful people in business have in common? They are visionaries and they want to succeed. They are able to see the “big picture”, set long-term goals, and implement the right steps and strategies to get them there. Some of the most notable leaders and innovators from Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg have this quality. It has helped them dominate their industries and grow massively successful companies.
As a business owner, it is easy to get bogged down by day-to-day tasks. You could be answering emails, pitching to customers or meeting with your team of employees to discuss new projects. You need to also ask yourself: How does this task help achieve the end goal? Work on your business, not in your business.
In the early stages of your company, it may be necessary to dive into everyday tasks to get it off the ground. However, if you want to grow and build a successful and sustainable business, you need to know where you’re going. Otherwise, you’re hopping into a car without a destination. You’ll get lost, run out of fuel or turn around and give up. You need to have a roadmap with checkpoints that get you closer to the destination you set. How can business owners do that?
A long-term vision and planning may not come naturally to some. Others may need to work on it or take steps to gain a competitive edge. Here are some tips to help you master forward-thinking to dominate your industry and increase your company’s chances of success.
Set time to step back and look at the big picture.
For busy business owners, taking some time away from work or the office even for a few hours seems impossible, but it’s important. Many of the top business minds make alone time and reflective thinking a priority and claim it has contributed greatly to their success. For example, Warren Buffett spends 80% of his time on career thinking, learning and personal development.
Bill Gates will take time off every year for a “think week”, often retreating to a cabin in the woods for some uninterrupted quiet time.
Instead of diving into piles of work and pulling all-nighters trying to solve a problem, take a break. Clear your head. Go on vacation. If you can’t get out of the office for that long, set 15 to 30 minutes every week to think and strategize. When you do, remove noise. It will help you tap into what is called the default mode network in your brain. According to neuroscientists, it boosts creativity and innovative thought, but technology and all the distractions that come with it can make it inactive.
Today, everything can be tracked. In a few minutes and mouse clicks, you can discover where your customer come from, what trends your competitors are jumping on, what people will buy next and much more.
Make it a point to collect customer feedback. It can help you improve your brand and products and give you an idea of what direction your company needs to go in the future. You can also gain insight by analyzing data on competitors and industry trends.
Hire the right people and build systems.
You are only as strong as the people supporting you and the systems you build. Great businesses build efficient systems. They don’t rely on one person to succeed and get things done. If you decide to take a vacation or need to step out of the office, there should be a system in place to ensure that everything runs smoothly in your absence.
It’s important to work on your business instead of getting stuck in the day to day. Focus on what makes your company the best in the industry. Dedicate time to strategic, long-term thinking and data analysis, but make sure that you have the people and systems in place to do so without worrying if everything will fall apart in your absence.
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