Create an effective strategy for your business in these five steps.

It’s no secret that I love checklist. Every morning I start my day with one. There is rush I get in knowing that I am crossing off things I set to do for me day and actually did them. One time I even wrote, “Take a nap” on this list and when I woke up, crossed it off like a real boss.

Get on my level.

Making lists and numbering things make what I have to do smoother. It puts me on a path. Kinda like a “roadmap” for my day. Without it, I might become lost or overwhelmed and not sure what to do next or where to go.

This also crosses over into running a business.

From setting new business priorities, to outline plans for growth or something as simple as when and how to write and schedule your blog post, a list, roadmap, a “strategy” is needed.

Here are five simple steps to help you along the way.

1. Get all your facts in order.

Where are you now, how did you get there and where are you trying to go? This is harder than is looks. Some people see themselves how they WANT to see themselves, not how they actually appear to others. Ask yourself what have you done? What worked and what didn’t work? Also, this is a key time to see what your competitive environment looks like. Trust me, there is nothing wrong with Social Media stalking. Best believe they are all up and down your IG page. Might even have alerts for when you go live. (Nikk Tip: Having a Finsta account has helped me a lot. Oh and those of your with teens, you might want to check to see if they have one.)

2. What you focus on, you create more of.

Identify what’s important. Where is it that you want to be in the next year, six months, three months, next week. Prioritize the things that will help you set direction and works towards your mission, goals and vision.

3. 5W’s.

You remember this from grammar school, no?

Who, what, when, where & why.

Then they added “How” in the mix and it became “The 5’ws & H” that and new math…

But seriously, ask yourself:

“Who is going to do what, when and where and why and how?”

Asking for help is something that we need to do more as Black Women Business Owners. (When I talk to you, I talk to myself) Sure you can probably put together a logo, but can you put together a logo as great as let’s say a graphic designer? Reach out for the things that your skills are the best in. You never know who also needs your help. (Bartering is amazing.)

4. Set a deadline.

What good is all of this if there isn’t a timeline? Setting deadlines is essential to productivity. I have worked places where I had a deadline of three weeks and guess when I did it? That night before it was due. Depending on who you are and how you work knowing that there is an end date gloomy is the kick in the ass you need. Or you might just be better under pressure.

5. Always schedule time for review.

So, you did all this, but don’t forget to check back in to make sure it is working. If so, keep going, if not, readjust. Maybe you thought you could do something but need to outsource after all. Or maybe you thought that project would take two weeks, but it only needed two days. The crazy thing about making plans, they are always changing. Just when you thought you had it all figured out, you realize you didn’t have it all figured out. That’s the fun part, no?

Remember not knowing where to start is exactly how you start. Just take time out your day and let it flow out, if it’s with your keyboard, or pen and paper or even leaving yourself voice notes. Just start.

Remember, everything you want is available to you.

I'll love to hear back from you! What are some things that have helped you?