If you mention strategic plans to small business owners, most either roll their eyes or have no idea what you are talking about. However, a strategic plan is an important piece of the business jigsaw puzzle.
Why create strategic plans?
Strategic plans are documents that highlight the mid to long term goals of the business and explains the basic strategies for achieving them. By creating strategic plans, you give the business a meaningful direction.
A strategic plan can be as simple or complicated as needed however the plan needs to be meaningful and practical. If the plan is not meaningful and practical, it is unlikely you will achieve the goals you have set.
The process of creating a strategic plan
When small business owners are considering their strategic plan, it is important that they consider their personal goals as well as their business goals. Personal goals and business goals are likely to be intrinsically linked and a strategic plan needs to consider both. There is not much point making more money if you don’t have the time to enjoy it.
The process of creating and implementing your strategic plan should have the following steps:
Step 1: Determine where your business is now
Step away from the day-to-day running of the business and take stock of where the business is at. Look at what drives the profitability and cash-flow of the business. How does it compare to competitors? Consider systems, resources, business development and marketing.
Step 2: Determine where you want the business to get to
Now that you understand where your business currently stands, you need to ponder where you would like your business to get to. It is important to ensure you are realistic at this point. Success is different for everyone, so it is critical you identify what success looks like to you. Set your goals.
Step 3: Determine how to get there
You have set your goals. The challenge now is to determine the actions and initiatives that need to be adopted to reach those goals. You will need to build the right team and have the right systems to get to where you want to go.
Step 4: Implement the changes
You have created your strategic plan, now you need to put your words into action. Deadlines will need to be set, and key performance indicators will need to be measured. If you don’t do these two key things it is likely that the strategic plan will go nowhere. You need to be accountable.
While preparing a strategic plan can seem like a daunting prospect, the potential benefit for you and your business can be significant. Your local Accru advisor will be able to assist you in preparing and implementing your strategic plan. Get in contact with your local Accru Office today.