How many white things are in your house? Quick.stop what you’re doing and list as many as you can.
Now, how many white things are in your refrigerator? Write down as many things as you can.
My guess is that your list of refrigerator items is longer than the first list.
Why is that? It’s simply focus. The entire universe of things in your house is overwhelming. However, your fridge is a finite location that you can probably easily picture in your mind.
Your business is no different. Entrepreneurs like you and I have far too many things going on and ideas floating in our heads about how to address our most critical business priorities. The actual list of business priorities is probably pretty short: Grow revenue, increase profits and/or improve process (i.e., safety, service, quality).
Of the ideas to address, which ones do you act on and which are distractions? Which ones should you focus on? Here’s a simple strategy to narrow your focus and finally get some traction on your most important business challenges.
Using 4×6 note cards or whole sheets of paper, complete the following steps.
- Write down your area of focus (i.e., grow revenue, increase profits, improve process).
- On that same card or page, write down your specific business goal for this area.
- Write down the objective that will achieve this goal (include both business and personal objectives.go ahead, be a tad bit selfish here).
- Write down each idea you have about this goal one idea per page or card.
- Answer the following questions using a 10-point scale:
- Will this idea help achieve my personal objective? 1 = No –> 10 = Absolutely
- Will this idea allow me to reach the goal (increase sales, improve quality, improve customer service)? 1 = No –> 10 = Absolutely
- If answer to question B is a 2 or higher, how much and by when? Be as specific as you can with the information you have.
- If you don’t pursue this idea, what will the impact be? 1 = No impact –> 10 = dire long-term impact
- If you do pursue this idea, what will be the long-term impact? 1 = No long-term impact –> 10 = will set me up for future plans and growth
- How much fun will you have doing it? 1 = none –> 10 = smiling every minute
Go back and total your scores for each idea. If there are two or more that are evenly scored as the highest, use the answer to question C as a tie breaker.
Please use this strategy liberally and feel free to add criteria that are important to you.
I challenge you now to select your top scoring idea right now and begin working on it immediately. I can’t wait to hear how it goes.