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Articles > #123 11-29-11 Focus on One Thing, Even if it’s a Small Thing

Is there something small that my company can focus on to begin impacting our business?

The One Page Strategic Plan offers a simple concept to keep your business focused on the right things.  To become and remain competitive your Organization Needs Three Things:


1) Framework that identifies and supports your corporate strategy.

2) Common language in which to express that strategy and,

3) Well-developed habit of using this framework and language to continually evaluate your strategic progress.


Most important you need to keep it simple.  The One Page Plan provides the first two elements and Strategic Discipline provides the habit.


One of my clients, Fred Schiff of All County Music was recently featured in one of his industry’s leading magazines, Music Inc.  The story, Taming Hurricanes, chronicles how Fred managed to withstand major competitive challenges from the big boxes of the music world as well as hurricanes.  Take 10 – 15 minutes to read it to discover how commitment and persistence to your ideals and beliefs can help you achieve success.  It’s an inspiring story on how a small to mid-sized business can beat the big boys with the right enterprising attitude and persistence. 

All County Music has a disciplined strategy that has helped it to overcome significant competitive assaults.  They’ve remained focused on band as their top priority and within that context have developed a superior customer service reputation. 

If you’ve been following my Growth Summit blogs you’re aware of the ideas Todd Klein offered in his presentation on Built for Change.  Fred read an article “Small is the New Big Thing” in Music Trades, took Bob Popyk concepts and approached his executive team in his weekly meeting with an improvising idea, “Give me the next small thing you can do for our company in your department.”

He created a short one page form, entitled “The Next Small Thing” (Notice how keeping things simple and one page helps?) and asked each of his team to complete it and get it back before the next meeting.    

How did his team handle it?  Some well, some not so well.  With some additional prompting, accountability, coaxing, and coaching he eventually got each of his executive team members to come up with some great ideas.  Ideas included training systems for developing and improving their teams, a new special orders system for retail, a process to improve customer service, and still another to begin doing daily huddles.  Not only has it spurred innovation and energized his team, it’s given them ownership for helping the business improve. 

In the constant struggle with business frequently we forget that clarity in what we stand for, keeping things simple, and how doing the small things right can have a significant impact on the results we achieve.

Fred Schiff has remained true to his strategy to serve his band customers to a high standard of excellence.  He challenges himself and his team to continually elevate their game.  The Next Small Thing is an example of his coaxing his leadership team.  He expects that same level of innovation and commitment from himself.  Fred’s One Thing for 2012 is Florida Flutes.    It’s a calculated thrust to spotlight specialization in his band focus.  He’s spared no expense in remodeling his store and investing in training for his service department to ensure that his customers will get excellence in knowledge and repair after their purchase. 

What’s your strategy?  What’s your One Thing for 2012?  Have you planned or strategized your future?  Do you have a platform that identifies and supports your strategy?  Do you have a language that communicates your strategy?  Finally do you have habits in place that routinely evaluate your strategy to determine if you are meeting your expectations?   Strategy is about making good decisions.   Once you’ve made those decisions the focus becomes alignment.  1% vision 99% alignment.   Are you doing everything you can to enlist your team and yourself in building your business?  

Need help implementing these ideas?

Positioning Systems helps business owners and entrepreneurs transform their business.  We provide the tools and coaching to help you take control of your business -- rather then having your business control you.