As an entrepreneur, you are working incredibly hard to grow your business and achieve your goals. Working with technology, difficult clients, due dates, trying to find work/life balance all while trying to turn a profit just makes being self-employed even more difficult.
Planning is essential but unexpected ‘things’ happen that can really create stress in your business but you can survive with minimum negative impact to you through being organized and having systems in place.
Unfortunately, many businesses spend too much time wasted in reactive activities vs. in proactive activities. Functioning in a reactive mode doesn’t allow for maximum business growth.
Definition of Proactive: tending to initiate change rather than reacting to events and (of a policy or person or action) controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than waiting to respond to it after it happens; active- disposed to take action or effectuate change.
Definition of Reactive: tending to be responsive or to react to a stimulus, characterized by reaction.
Many businesses try to plan well but in reality, their business is like Swiss cheese. When business planning and systems are not thoroughly carried out, there will be areas of the business that are strong but over time or under a specific set of circumstances, the ‘holes’ in the business can actually collapse the business. At best, time will have to be spent to react to a problem that could likely never have happened if the business had taken the time, initially, to be proactive.
Not being as thorough as possible in your business planning and building is easier but later, it will take more time, money, and energy than if you had been proactive at the beginning. This doesn’t even take into account what reactive activities can do negatively to your clientele, reputation, staff, and momentum.
Many times, people end up in reactive situations because in the planning (proactive) phase, they decided to save time, money, and effort. Unfortunately, when problems occur, they wish they had done things differently and been proactive.
Being proactive means planning ahead to minimize problems that could occur but also knowing ahead of time how problems will be handled that do occur. Proactive behaviors allow for more business growth because fewer problems ‘pop up’ and those that do, there is a plan or outline on how to deal with them which results in less stress, less time loss, less income loss, less momentum loss and maintaining the business’s reputation.
Being proactive vs. reactive in your business can actually determine, at times, whether your business will survive or not.
What are some proactive steps you can take?
Make sure your business foundation is solid. Work with a business consultant or coach to go over your business plan and operations.
Utilize systems and sound organization techniques throughout your business for consistency, productivity, quality control and less stress.
Planning is the key. Through planning in detail, you can usually automatically eliminate and/or minimize unforeseen hazards that could occur.
Take the time to think and act with a proactive mindset, while having a reactive planning scenario too.
You want to avoid being a business operating frequently in reactive mode while still doing daily business plus trying to deal with a major problem that could have huge repercussions for your business.
So which are you – a proactive or reactive active business?