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Small Business Strategy: How to Use the OODA Loop to Succeed as a Small Business Owner

The OODA loop is a decision-making model that stands for Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act. It was developed by US Air Force Colonel John Boyd and is widely used in the military, law enforcement, and business. The OODA loop is a cycle of continuous feedback, where you make decisions based on the information you observe and the orientation of that information.

Here's how the OODA loop works:

  1. Observe: In this stage, you gather information through various sources such as customer feedback, sales data, market trends, and competition analysis. You need to be constantly aware of what's happening around you.

  2. Orient: In this stage, you process the information you gathered and put it into context. You analyze the information to identify patterns, trends, and potential opportunities or threats. You need to be able to recognize and interpret the data you have collected.

  3. Decide: In this stage, you make a decision based on the analysis you did in the previous stage. You choose a course of action that you believe will help you achieve your goals. You need to be decisive and confident in your decision-making.

  4. Act: In this stage, you implement the decision you made in the previous stage. You take action to achieve your goals and monitor the results. You need to be agile and adapt to changing circumstances.

To apply the OODA loop as a small business owner, you can follow these steps:

  1. Observe: Regularly gather information about your customers, competition, industry trends, and market conditions. You can use tools like social media monitoring, website analytics, customer feedback surveys, and industry reports.

  2. Orient: Analyze the information you collected in the previous stage and identify patterns, trends, and potential opportunities or threats. You can use techniques like SWOT analysis, PESTLE analysis, and Porter's Five Forces model.

  3. Decide: Based on the analysis you did in the previous stage, make a decision about the course of action you want to take. Consider the resources you have, the potential risks and benefits, and the impact on your business goals.

  4. Act: Implement the decision you made in the previous stage and monitor the results. Be flexible and willing to adapt if necessary. Evaluate the outcomes of your actions and adjust your approach if needed.

By applying the OODA loop, small business owners can make informed decisions, adapt to changing circumstances, and improve their chances of success.

At Wasatch Business Finance we are passionate about small business growth in Utah. From financing options to business strategy, we are here for and support the Utah small business owner.

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