No business owner wants to spend more than necessary. Every dollar out the door is another one you have to earn to break even – or one less in your profits column. This leads many of us (and as a business owner myself, I very intentionally say “us”) to try to do as much as possible ourselves, instead of bringing in expertise from outside. It can also make us hesitant to spend money on anything that doesn’t seem to lead directly to more sales. The first casualty in that department is often planning and strategy, and that can be a costly mistake.
Planning is an investment, a little time and money spent now to make more in the future. Just like any investment, it is to some extent an act of confidence. You don’t buy into a mutual fund if you’re worried about next month’s mortgage payment. It makes perfect sense to take care of today first.
But what happens if we never look forward? We miss opportunities. Not only that, but we risk spending more when things come up because we didn’t see them coming. Measure twice, cut (or spend) once.
So, how do we set that balance between taking care of short-term survival and planning for longer-term success? There are a few different ways, each with its own costs and benefits.
Put Planning on the Calendar
It’s a bit meta – a calendar being a plan in itself – but one way to be sure you make time for planning and strategy is to schedule it regularly on your calendar, whether that refers to the physical one on your kitchen wall or a virtual one like Google’s. If you’re the kind of person who thrives on structure and regimenting your time, putting aside an hour or two a week for nothing but planning may be the ideal solution.
Plan by Project
Depending on your business, it might make more sense to incorporate long-term planning and strategy into your work on a project by project basis, rather than on a regular schedule. Are you about to offer your customers a new service or product? Does your business change with the seasons? Will you soon be opening a new location or bringing on a new employee? These are all chances to incorporate planning and try to catch the opportunities that come with every kind of change.
Find the Right Partner
Running a business is hard work. Many of us barely have enough time to eat, sleep, and see our families each day – let alone finding an hour during the week to focus solely on strategy. Setting aside time to plan for the future of your business can be exhausting – and you’re not alone in feeling that.
And even if you do find that spare hour every week, knowing where to start and how to proceed can be overwhelming. You’re an expert at running your business – not necessarily at putting together a long-term strategy for your website.
Hiring a professional means you can continue focusing on what you do best without sacrificing any critical planning. Our goal at Seaworthy Digital is to take the heavy lifting off your plate by giving you access to a team with decades of experience in web content planning, site strategy, project management, and more. It’s an easy way to delegate an important piece of business development no matter how big or small your business is.
Some businesses want to go it alone, and if that works for you, great. If you want a partner, we’d love to help. A modest investment today can pay major dividends down the road. Get in touch with us today to find out how our skilled staff can help you.
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