Building Blocks of Business Success: Understanding the Seven Strategic Objectives

As a small business owner, you often find yourself juggling multiple responsibilities. Not only are you managing clients, growing your business, balancing your finances, and maintaining visibility, among other things (all at the same time!), but you’re also simultaneously striving for success in a competitive market. 

Whether it’s just you or you have a small but mighty team, it’s impossible to accomplish everything simultaneously. In large corporations, each responsibility is a separate department, making a larger business more successful: the right people manage the proper departments, and each department is focused on one primary objective. 

Especially in smaller businesses, where resources may be limited, prioritizing strategic objectives is paramount to success. By identifying and prioritizing key objectives, we can effectively direct our efforts toward achieving monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals. This strategic focus ensures that we use our time, energy, and resources where they will have the most significant impact on our business’s growth and development.

Seven Strategic Objectives

Financial Steadiness: Sound financial management is the cornerstone of any successful business. This objective entails understanding where your revenue is coming from, planning for the future (including retirement savings), establishing a solid business structure, and enlisting the expertise of financial professionals when needed.
Action steps:
• Develop a monthly budget and track expenses closely to ensure financial stability.
• Consider hiring a financial planner or accountant to provide expert guidance and support.

Operational Excellence: Efficiency is the name of the game when it comes to operational excellence. Operations are all the systems, processes, tools, and automations that allow your business to run. When the back end of your business is optimized, it can run more autonomously, you don’t need to be in the weeds constantly, and you can delegate more confidently. For many business owners, this doesn’t weigh heavily on them until something doesn’t work the way it should.
Action steps:
• Document your business processes and create standard operating procedures (SOPs) to streamline operations. 
• Leverage automation tools and software to increase efficiency and reduce manual tasks.

Team Growth: As our business expands, so too must our team. This objective involves scaling our operations through strategic hiring and delegation and nurturing a talented workforce that shares our vision and values. If you intend to grow and build a business that you don’t have to be in every day, this will be a high priority for you. 
Action steps:
• Take the time to define your team’s roles and responsibilities clearly in an organizational chart. 
• Invest in thorough training and onboarding processes to set your team up for success.

Visibility: In a crowded marketplace, standing out is crucial. Visibility is the foundational part of your business. The value of visibility is how you attract customers or clients to your products and services. In a growing company, the CEO (that’s you!) has to be part of the visibility objective. It’s possible to outsource some pieces of your visibility, but if you’re the face of your business, you need to put yourself out there.
Action step:
• Imagine all the ways you can put yourself and your business in front of potential customers/clients. Develop a marketing plan that encompasses how you want to be seen and heard as a thought leader and how you want people to find your content.

Customer/Client Experience: This objective revolves around providing exceptional customer experiences that foster satisfaction, loyalty, and positive word-of-mouth referrals and goes closely with operational excellence. For newer business owners, keep your customer experience on the back burner until more predictable revenue is coming in. Focus on doing the work first and making the customer experience exceptional later.
Action steps:
• Prioritize exceptional customer service and communication at every touchpoint. 
• Gather customer feedback regularly to improve and refine your customer journey.

Product Creation and Refinement: Our products and services are the lifeblood of our business. This objective involves continually developing and refining our offerings to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers and drive revenue growth. Particularly for creative business owners, the process of creating new products and services can be exhilarating, but they quickly get bored with this stage and would rather spend more time on ideation than getting offers ready to sell.
Action step:
• Validate new product ideas before investing significant time and resources into development. Gather feedback from your target audience and iterate based on their input to ensure market fit.

Growth and Development: As your business grows, so do you, both professionally and personally. This objective focuses on personal and professional growth, ensuring we continuously adapt to changes and hone our skills. The you that hit your first $5k month is not the same you at $50k months. A growth mindset seems innate for entrepreneurs, so this strategic objective is typically a lower priority. However, it is still significant as it allows you to refine your craft and advance in various areas that serve you and your business–and where you want your business to go.
Action step:
• As the market changes, keeping up with the times and staying competitive is necessary. Set aside dedicated time for ongoing learning and skill development on both the professional and personal sides. 

Please keep in mind that if you are a small business owner, you will not want to focus on more than 3 objectives at 1 time, and I suggest focusing on 1-2 max. Splitting your focus in too many directions will lead to little to no growth on any of the objectives. While pursuing these strategic objectives, we may encounter challenges, such as letting go of control, implementing operational systems, or shifting focus from personal development to business growth. Still, by embracing change and staying agile, we can effectively address each objective and drive our business toward success. Strategic objectives are the North Star that will help you stay on track in your business. Ultimately, business success requires focus, tenacity, and a clear purpose. By prioritizing strategic objectives, you’ll know exactly what to work on–and when–in each area of your business. It’s crucial to systematically address these objectives, as they form the foundation for sustainable growth and long-term profitability.

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