What three or four actions are to be completed now so your yearly goals are met? Are they realistic? How will they be accomplished? These questions and their answers must be the highest priority.
No entrepreneurial process is more important than identifying, tracking and acting upon the critical few. Each limited resource must be highly focused to achieve the desired result. Doing the right things versus the many things – effectiveness vs. efficiency– must prevail. The progress of every business can be tracked with a few critical indices.
The critical few are actions that need to be taken that have the greatest effect in the least amount of time, at the least cost.
How does one complete this process of identifying and acting? Experience has shown that doing so is the result of an ongoing planning and review process. Development of a simplified business plan versus an exhaustive plan follows.
Absence of a review routine is one of the most common causes of lack of entrepreneurial focus. Many who plan and simply document fail to act or to revisit the plan on a periodic basis to refocus into the critical few.
An effective review is, in effect, a mini-planning session. The status of the business and financial results are assessed, plan objectives are overviewed and the progress and problems of projects or programs are carefully reviewed. The critical few are selected and priorities and a schedule for the immediate future are set. A date, typically monthly and in no case greater than quarterly, for the next review and refocusing in then assigned.
Whether the entrepreneur is alone and entering the early stages of business development or surrounded with staff and exiting a mature business, there are no efforts more essential to growth than identifying and completing the critical few. Doing so is an endless but rewarding task. As the business moves towards its vision, the critical few change. The few of the previous period are completed; new ones emerge and old ones are addressed. And again the few are put into focus.