Are You in the Weeds?

By: Lisa Campbell

Let’s face it, we all struggle with keeping a proper balance between our day-to-day tasks and keeping an eye on the long-term vision. But have you been in the weeds so long that you forget what it feels to be strategic? Here are some signs and tips to help.

Are you guiding your customers, or are your customers guiding you?
The best example for this is a website. Are you attempting to answer every possible customer question on your website, or are you using it as a strategic tool to guide your customer through the story YOU want tell? There is certainly a place for providing clarity around frequently asked questions, but your marketing – whether a website or something else – should guide your customers toward conversion points using your brand’s story. How does your brand resolve a customer need? What does your brand do differently than competitors in a way that customers will value? In being strategic, you are not only guiding your customer, you are driving your business toward its long-term goals.

Are you making knee-jerk, reactive decisions without consideration for future impact?
Maybe it’s been a soft month for sales or extreme weather has impacted visitation. While it’s important to be fluid and flexible to the current environment – such flexibility should not be at the expense of your long-term goals. Weigh each “current situation” decision against its future repercussions. Are you setting a tricky precedent or confusing your customer about the way they are accustomed to interacting with your brand? When you’re in the weeds, it’s very easy to forget that you may make a decision you regret next year at this time.

Do you have a time set aside to work “on the business?”
Scott Scheffey has adopted this helpful practice and it shows in our company’s decisive approach to fulfilling our mission. But he had to make a deliberate decision to set aside time to switch from working “in the business” to “on the business.” When you’re in the moment – meeting deadlines, reacting to customer needs, following through on promises – this can be easily put on the back burner. By creating the discipline to pull yourself out of those weeds on a recurring basis, you will be more likely to make it a habit and not allow yourself to be sidelined.

Are you mission-driven?
It’s more than a corporate buzz phrase. Being mission-driven means you vet your planning decisions against your long-term vision. The ultimate litmus test, it can provide the clarity that can be hard to find otherwise – especially when you are in the weeds. In every business or organizational decision you make, there are plenty of what-ifs and unknowns, but revisiting your mission can be a refreshing antidote to indecision. Right there in black and white, some very smart and visionary leaders (you!) identified what their core purpose was going to be. Don’t ignore it.

Have you given up on being strategic?
This is the worst position of all. If you are so far in the weeds that you’ve given up on even being strategic, then something must change. Whether you need more personnel, a strategic partner like Scheffey, or just need to scale back; giving up on strategic thinking and planning should never be the answer. Your business or organization will go farther, achieve higher revenue, and satisfy customers much more successfully if you take the time and effort to pull yourself out of the weeds and make intentional decisions to create, monitor, refine and measure your long-term strategy.

If you’d like to have a conversation with Scheffey about your strategic needs and goals, give us a call!