Keep Your Head up and Focus on the Results You Want

International Business Development and Communications Specialists; Norma Foster and Claire Snowdon provide 6 tips on how to think and plan more strategically.

We recently asked one of the most successful exporters we know for his top tips to help guide us all through what may be a challenging future and he said

“Don’t look down as all you will see is your feet, keep your head up and look to the stars.”

In times of crisis and stress we do tend to “knuckle down” to business and get focused on the detail in full fire-fighting mode. And there are many immediate pressures demanding our attention from both a personal and professional perspective.

“When one door closes, another opens” and now is the time to raise your heads and take a fresh look at your export strategy, applying the lessons that we are all learning from lockdown to increase resilience, confidence and profitability.

One of the tools we have used the most over the years with clients is what we affectionately call the 4 R’s  – Remove – Revise – Reallocate – Retain.

And here are the easy steps that you will need to take to reap the rewards for a pause in your busy day, to step out of the day-to-day and think and plan more strategically:


Review and benchmark where you are in your business and map that out in a simple way, preferably graphic format e.g. post it notes, mind maps or charts in front of you – we love doing this on the wall.

Step 2: REMOVE

Remove everything that no longer fits your business aims and objectives. You may want to keep it in the “someday maybe” drawer, but it is not going to be a priority for you at present

Step 3: REVISE

Think about things you do want to work on to make them simpler, easier and a better fit for you and your business right now. Be quite firm with yourself on this one, as it is all about minimum effort and maximum return.


Those tasks you do want to work on, but perhaps don’t have the time or skills to do these readily yourself. Find someone else in the business to take this on, or consider outsourcing to some specialist who will be able to do it much faster than you, and perhaps also deliver a better job.

Step 5: RETAIN

Work that is your absolute priority and should be the focus of your efforts and attention. Get clarity on what it is you need to do and how you will go about achieving this. With the decks cleared, you can look forward to having the space and time to enjoy the process and deliver some great results.


A job well done. Give yourself time to say “well done” to both yourself and those who have been supportive and played a role – from the customer, to your internal team and outsourced support.

Where you focus your attention is where you focus your energy, and the laws of quantum physics dictate that this is what you will attract. You have the power of decision in your hands.

Choose to focus on the results that you want to create as opposed to the problems that you have.

Quotation courtesy of Alan Richardson, Contracts/Export Manager of Hart Door Systems, Newcastle upon Tyne