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Don’t Chase Your Tail: Three Surefire Tips to Help Your Business Grow

Don’t Chase Your Tail: Three Surefire Tips to Help Your Business Grow

By Solovic
Published: January 3, 2012

<p>My company has a pet-friendly office environment. My little four-legged angel, Maxwell, is our Chairman of the Bone. He&rsquo;s a 14-pound Shih Tzu who regularly comes to the office with me with an ample supply of toys and treats. However, one of Maxwell&rsquo;s favorite things to do is chase his tail. He runs in a circle at manic speeds until he ultimately collapses having never achieved his goal, if he even knows what his goal is. That doesn&#39;t stop him from trying again later.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p><br />It&#39;s perfectly acceptable for a dog to chase his tail. In fact, it&rsquo;s really cute. But when you&rsquo;re working to build a successful business, it&rsquo;s not so cute to spend time, energy, and resources chasing your tail. You&rsquo;ll end up going nowhere and you may find yourself completely burned out because you can&rsquo;t reach your business goals. &nbsp;</p><p><br />So if your business isn&rsquo;t going in the right direction, take an introspective look at yourself. Are you chasing your tail? Think about it. How many days do you have lots of activity going on, but at the end of the day you&rsquo;ve really accomplished nothing to move your business forward? I see it all the time. People &ldquo;make busy&rdquo;. They create lots of commotion and they talk a good game, but their business is going nowhere.</p><p><br />Here are a few surefire tips to help you grow your business so you don&#39;t wind up chasing your tail.</p><p><br />1.&nbsp; <strong>Keep your eye on the ball.</strong> When you start a business, money is always tight. Attractive opportunities present themselves as quick ways to bring in revenue, but they are a complete departure from your core business strategy. Before you decide to go for it, stop and think about the ramifications of your decision.&nbsp; How much of a distraction is this going to be?&nbsp; One of the biggest reasons many small businesses fail is because they take on projects or products that are completely unrelated to their business strategy and subsequently the original business suffers. Trying to be all things to all people is impossible. Stay focused on your core business. &nbsp;</p><p><br />2&nbsp; <strong>Set milestones</strong>. Create a business plan with a timeline and milestones. Without established benchmarks, days, weeks, and months can pass by while you talk about what you&#39;re going to do, but never get around to doing it. You may not meet all your goals as quickly as you predict. In fact, in most cases you won&rsquo;t. It typically takes twice as long and twice the money you think it will to achieve your objectives. Nonetheless, your established milestones keep you focused on progress. &nbsp;</p><p>3.&nbsp; <strong>Take action every day</strong>. Never let a day go by in your business where you haven&#39;t done at least one activity to help you reach your business goals. Business success requires discipline - the discipline to practice those things that are instrumental for your success. Occasionally making a sales call or attending a networking event won&rsquo;t keep the pipeline filled with new business opportunities.&nbsp; One thing that works well for me is creating a list of top priorities &ndash; &ldquo;the must do&rsquo;s&rdquo; &ndash; for the day and getting those items completed first.&nbsp; Otherwise, I find it&rsquo;s easy to get sidetracked with answering emails, cleaning my office area, or working on a project I enjoy but that isn&rsquo;t a strategic business need. &nbsp;</p><p><br />Starting and growing a small business isn&#39;t easy. Make sure you work smart and use your valuable time productively. Don&rsquo;t end up chasing your tail.&nbsp;</p>

About the Author:

Susan Solovic
Susan Wilson Solovic is an award-winning entrepreneur and journalist, author of three best-selling books, multi-media personality and a small business contributor to ABC News and other media outlets, public speaker and attorney. In addition to sitting on several executive boards of small business organizations, Solovic is the CEO and co-founder of ItsYourBiz.com – a company she led from a concept to a multi-million dollar enterprise.(formerly SBTV.com) She is also a featured blogger on numerous sites including Huffington Post, AllBusiness.com, Constant Contact, WSJ.com and Fast Company. Her forthcoming book, It’s Your Biz: The Complete Guide to Becoming Your Own Boss, is scheduled for release in October 2011.