Strategic Planning Tips for Small Business
Jan 17, 2020
Many small business owners lack a strategic plan for their business, usually for one of two reasons: either they think that strategic planning is what big companies do therefore, it’s not for them or they don’t understand the advantages of having a strategic plan in place.
However, without an overall strategy, a business lacks the direction it needs to be successful. Businesses may set financial goals, client acquisition goals, or any number of goals, but unless these goals are placed within the framework of a larger strategy, they lose their impact. It can be very easy to go off on tangents whilst pursuing individual goals and by the time the end of the year rolls around, you are miles off course from where you hoped you’d be.
Strategic planning for a small business doesn’t need to be difficult or time consuming, but your plan does need to identify what you want to accomplish and how you intend to achieve those goals.
If you want to start developing your strategic plan, here are some tips.
- Go to a neutral zone. It is almost impossible to focus on strategic planning when you are surrounded by your normal daily activity. Select a neutral place away from your office so that you can give the planning process the uninterrupted attention it deserves.
- Involve key team members .The planning process and the implementation of the strategies will work better when your team is involved. Encourage open discussion and an exchange of ideas and be sure that all your key people are on board with the final plan.
- Solidify company identity. If you have not already done so, map out your company’s vision, mission, values and purpose. Also include what your company does best – your USP. This is the foundation of your business and crucial in every aspect of your plan.
- Review where you are. In order to grow and move forward you must know your current position. This is often done with a SWOT analysis, or similar. Understanding your current position means you can compare metrics to ensure you are on the right path.
- Set your goals. Strategic planning means seeing the big picture. Think bigger and longer term (three to five year time period) as well as shorter term goals (one year). Consider the overall objective of what you want your business to achieve.
- Create a plan of action. Once you have determined your goals you need to outline the strategies and tactics you will need to achieve them. Also identify the resources you will need including financial, staff, equipment, skills and expertise. Your plan should also consider the costs and impact on revenue pursuing these goals will bring.
- Implementation and Metrics. Your strategic plan will only work if you actively implement the actions. Create a tracking system to ensure that the work is getting done according to your timeline and that milestones are being met. Hold yourself and your team accountable.
- Your Strategic Plan is a living document. Make sure that your plan is available to be seen by those who need to and that it remains in the forefront of your mind. Don’t just dump it in the filing cabinet! Be prepared to adjust to market conditions and be flexible enough to run with new opportunities that present themselves, as long as they fit with your overall objectives.
No matter what your business, large or small, creating and implementing a strategic plan will keep you on track to achieve your highest vision. If you would like help to create a Strategic Plan for your business, I offer a Strategic Planning Service that will take you and your team through the complete process. Now is the time - https://www.averilmaher.com/strategic-planning
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