Many small business owners get involved in the day to day operations of their business and fail to step back and consider their strategy. This can lead to additional stress, overwork and reduced profits. Strategy is the key to success in both “big” and “small” business. At some point you of course have to jump in and “do” but make sure you step back to ensure that you are “doing” the right things for you and your business.

What is Strategy? Michael Porter, a Harvard business professor, and a reputed “Strategist”, often explains strategy as “how the organization is going to win”.  He supports that strategy is not “to have the best customer service”. That is a goal and the strategy is how to get there.

When discussing the idea of starting a business with people, my recommendation is to make sure you are passionate about it. Then build your business around that passion. This does not necessarily mean turning a hobby into a business. What I mean is that running your own business is hard. Starting your own business often feels impossible and there is often little financial reward at the beginning. As a CPA, I see it time and again, the financial struggle with the constant outlook that some day I will get my pay back (financial side) and have more time to…(lifestyle side)

Meanwhile the business owner just dives further and further into the day to day chores. The excitement of having the new business can fade and get lost in the busywork.

Three things to take away from this blog:

1)     Turn your passion into profit – some people just love the idea of being their own boss. That is sufficient whatever the actual business is. But others do it for the money and that never works out.  Make sure you understand why you seek the entrepreneurial road. There is always going to be work we “enjoy more” and work we “enjoy less”. Do the work you “enjoy more” then if the “enjoy less” work still needs to be done, do your best to automate, delegate or reduce it.

2)    Make time for “insert desire here”. If you wanted to have your own business so that you could make your own schedule and run 3 times a week. Build it in your schedule, book it and make sure you stick to your calendar. There is always “more to do” but there is also what’s “important to do” (family, friends and yourself included). Keeping balanced will help you stay motivated and focused.

3)     Have a strategy – the age old saying of “worker smarter not harder”. My favorite explanation of strategy from Michael Porter is when he explains strategy as the choices of what not to do. There are no “best businesses” that serve “all customers”. Choose “who” you are going to serve and figure out “how” you will serve them well (its called creating value or the value proposition). This will help you achieve points 1 and 2 as well by keeping you focused on your goals and not taking on extra busy work that does not contribute to the ultimate vision of the company.

Need help determining a strategy? Try out Virtual Heights Accounting’s business coaching program. We use proven techniques to increase the chance of success of your business. These include determining your value proposition and incorporating it into your operations in all aspects of your business. Contact Alissa Bryden, CPA, CA, MPAcc, BComm at 250-231-3815 or by email at

 Virtual Heights Accounting is a CPA and business coaching firm that operates in the virtual world. We focus on automation to reduce the administrative burden faced by small and medium sized businesses. Business coaching is based on proven strategies with solid tracking measures to help you track and build on your success. Right to your office door. Contact us at or follow our blog on your chosen social media source.