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I have been an avid motorcycle rider for nearly a decade. It provides me a simple release from the stresses of life including those related to running my business.
But, when I first got started riding, I did a little research about motorcycle riding as a way to make sure that I was not going to violate some kind of code but more to ensure that I was a safe driver – protecting myself and my wife (I can’t get her off the back of my bike).
One of the things I learned about driving my motorcycle, one that stayed with me all these years, was set as an acronym – termed S.E.E.
S.E.E standards for:
S – Search – search for obstacles or hazards that may be in the road.
E – Evaluate – evaluate those hazards for their potential harm.
E – Execute – execute how you are to avoid those hazards should you evaluate them as dangerous.
I really like this acronym when on my motorcycle – but, I think it is also fitting for growing your small business.
Just like riding a motorcycle, you have to be on constant guard against obstacles in your path. And, if you are not searching for those obstacles, you will never see them until it is too late. It also allows you seek out opportunities as well.
To search for these obstructions, you can do a simple SWOT analysis where you seek out your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
And, not just your business’s either. Search for weakness in your market (i.e. new entrants, indirect competition, new regulations or even consumer changes) as well as with your competition – are they missing something that your business can pounce on and steal their customers away.
The key in evaluating what you searched for above is - can you make money here (or at least save money)?
The idea with any opportunity is can the business make more in revenue then it costs to get that revenue? A Net Present Value calculation if you will.
If it doesn’t – throw it away. If it does, move into the execution stage.
This is where the rubber meets the road – so to speak. Even if you successfully completed the other two (search and evaluate), if you cannot execute on it you are just wasting your time.
But, the good thing about this exercise is that if you have properly evaluated the opportunity then you have already outlined the execution of it to the point that all you have to do is put it into motion.
I really like this acronym in both riding motorcycles and in growing my small business as it is simple to remember and really cuts to the chase on what is important and what is not.
To be successful in business, you have to be constantly diligent – seeking out new opportunities or responding to new threats before it is too late.
No one wants to crash – but, if you are not S.E.E.ing the road ahead, you only option is to crash in both business and motorcycle riding.
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