As a small business, you may believe having a business plan is all you need to be successful. Whilst having a business plan is important, it is essential not to neglect strategic planning to ensure your business has an achievable business strategy, clear direction and will be future-proof against changing internal and external factors. With effective strategy planning, your small business can create measurable goals and have a stronger idea of the benchmarks you should use to analyse your business strength. Below we outline 5 top tips to help strategic planning for small business owners become an easy process!
The best way to start strategic planning is to outline a clear objective. This objective will guide your company so it is important it’s not too general, e.g. ‘increase sales’ is too vague and won’t give your company the direction it needs. Consider an objective such as ‘to increase sales by 20%’ or ‘to meet yearly targets by November’ which will provide much more actionable direction for your company.
Strategic planning is much more flexible and adaptable than a business plan and can be altered in reaction to external and internal influences. For example, if your business is subject to a personnel scandal or product recall, strategic planning should be adapted to damage control and retaining customers, rather than pushing sales. Similarly, if you see a significant boost in sales, you should increase your goals to meet this new demand.
As a business owner you may take on the responsibility of strategic planning yourself, whilst you perhaps understand your company and its goals better than anyone else, involving your team in the planning process can offer new insights. Your team members may have their own idea for how the day-to-day processes of your business should be focused and offer ideas you had not thought of yourself.
After you have established your main objectives, work backwards and build a strategic plan based on achieving those goals. For example, if you wish to achieve your Christmas sales targets, what marketing campaigns do you need to introduce in November? Do these campaigns need to be finalised in October? Working backwards will ensure you don’t miss any vital steps that prevent you from achieving your goals.
In order to create an achievable strategy and goals, you must first evaluate your business. If you don’t have a clear understanding of the current financial status and growth rate of your business you may create strategic objectives that are impossible to retain or are achieved too easily. Prior to beginning your strategic planning ensure to thoroughly review your company.
At vLinkD, we help businesses create and achieve their strategic goals by providing innovative technology solutions. If you’d like more information about how we can help your business, do not hesitate to contact us now to schedule an obligation-free consultation.