I have always said that in small business, especially sole proprietorships where you are a ‘one-man band’, so to speak, if you are out there seriously marketing you have little time to work in the business and if you are working hard in the business you have little time for marketing.
This is just one example of why any business or organization needs to recognize when they are being reactive rather than proactive. I don’t mean those one-day panics which will occur when you least expect it or want it. I’m talking about when you get to the point where putting out fires becomes the norm in the operation of the business.
Being reactive takes you away from interacting with your customers or clients to find out their changing needs. If you have employees, it may take you away from maintaining good human resource practices in the organization. You will not have time to assess the changing business landscape in your community and you may start to miss valuable details.
In addition, a constant state of being reactive will eventually lead to a breakdown of health. Stress sets in and the mental fatigue will deteriorate even the strongest. Sole proprietors especially need to be careful as they are the business. If they have to take time off, the business generally does not get done.
Ensure good planning in the beginning, pay attention to the records, know why you did not match your business plan, and learn how to read the business financials.
Try to be ahead of the curve, not stuck on the hill!
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