Endeavouring to succeed in a small business is much like taking on a massive road trip.
Having a map (in our case, a business plan) is a must. It will provide a route and will offer a big-picture view at where you want to go and how you will get there.
Along the way, you will encounter the unexpected; potholes, flat tires and detours may come without warning. However, with the right tools and a proactive character (in small businesses this is strategic planning) preparation can save the day.
A business plan and a strategic plan are not the same thing, though the two often intertwine along the way.
Strategic planning is designed to present a guideline for conflict resolution so that before problems arise, a procedure is in place to handle them. Employees and key players are educated on the plan and always ready for implementation.
A sound strategy encourages pro-activity and discourages reactivity.
Typically, there are three steps employed by small business owners for strategic planning:
Keep in mind strategic planning requires that you study the past, analyse the present and anticipate the future.
The SWOT analysis works well for strategic planning - identifying and evaluating Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats.
Once a strategic plan is in place, it is time to articulate the idea and educate your team. The best managers find it helpful to bring employees in at an earlier stage, allowing their input to help formulate the best plan. Brainstorming strategy often breeds creativity and boosts motivation.
Strategy suffers under stagnancy. Planning meetings should be held at least once a year in order to ensure that when the future becomes the present and the present turns into the past, you will be ready!
Remember, we have lots of experience in helping businesses like yours excel. Contact us for more information.