What’s your business strategic plan for growth?If you’re not sure how to answer, then odds are your business isn’t making effective use of its resources in the short term to help you meet your long-term goals. While it may seem overwhelming at first, creating a strategic plan is crucial —otherwise your company will be moving forward blindly.
Below are a few suggestions on ways you, the business owner, can develop a strategy for your company that will help it continue the success that has enabled you to come as far as you have – and help you go much farther.
Business Planning vs. Strategic PlanningIf that first question had been about your business plan is, you may have had a quicker answer. That’s because you wouldn’t be a business owner if you didn’t already know a bit about what it takes to get a business up and running, and that’s a good working definition of business planning itself.
Strategic planning, on the other hand, has more to do with a plan of action for your business for a determined amount of time. So, for example, the set of quarterly plans on how your business will operate based on a set of given factors that may change during the designated quarter is part of your strategic plan, while the cost estimates and business model-developing that helped make your idea for a business into an actual business are more along the lines of a business plan.
Now that we’ve defined our terms, let’s take a deeper look at what strategic planning can do for your business.
Planning Strategically for Your BusinessBefore you can begin forming your business’s strategy, you’ll need to understand exactly where your company stands with competitors, consumers, and employee performance.
Now it’s time to ask yourself some questions about your business. For example:
- What is the current state of the company, its competitors, and the consumer?
- How do we invest our resources? What progress are we making toward reaching our goals and what course corrections are needed?
- How are we tracking our KPIs (key performance indicators)?
You can find a comprehensive list of questions for your strategic planning self-evaluation in this free marketing eBook from Insights in Marketing. In the end, you need to be able to form concrete answers to each question in order to have a firm grip on your strategic planning. Without an idea of your current performance or how your implemented strategies are actually affecting your business, then it may be time for deeper evaluation of your company’s successes, failures, and overall processes.
The Nature of Strategic Planning as a Business OwnerThe thing about strategic planning is that it’s never really done, and if you’re doing it right, your strategy will evolve all the time as you’re able to factor in new information to affect your decision-making.
And, of course, this is ultimately your business, so the strategy it follows day-to-day should be a reflection of your goals for the company. As the owner, the major decisions of the business are made at your behest, and you hold an incredible amount of responsibility for the direction your company is going and the shape that it’s in, but that doesn’t mean you should dictate every part of your business’s strategy.
Working together with your associates in elaborating your strategy is the best way to develop your business’s strategy for going forward. It’s always better to have multiple perspectives working as a team to solve a problem, as it helps avoid “tunnel-vision” and over-focusing one aspect of the business at the expense of others.