Often, we associate strategic planning with big business, and complicated scenarios that we forget that strategic planning can be applied to varying situations including and especially small business.
Strategic planning doesn’t have to be this all-encompassing complicated process … it can be a multitude of strategic plans based on various areas of business and driven by where you want your business to go. What I mean by this, for example, is you may find yourself wanting to introduce a new product or service offering without understanding the impact this introduction may have on your current resources or even without having undergone adequate research on actually producing that product or providing that service. Often the research is limited by what everyone else is doing and how they’ve done it, without any forethought to how it specifically applies to the individual business needs.
But to make a strategic plan useful you will:
- Identify the steps, that are necessary to implement the new product / service or strategy into your business.
- Examine the impact the strategy will actually have on your existing products or service offering matrix.
- And have intimate knowledge of what the resource allocation and impact may be.
Strategic plans should be all encompassing. A good plan will examine pricing strategies, cash flow forecasts, impact on profitability, competitors and a marketing analysis relative to how you’re going to implement the plan/strategy into your business and how the strategy itself is going to impact it overall or the industry itself.
But a plan is just a plan without an appropriate execution. You may want to consider …
- Motivation by communication. Getting the right people involved, to ensure that when you do implement the strategy, that you’re going to have the right support and people involved in the process from the beginning.
- It’s important to ensure every aspect of the strategic plan is measurable. Whilst strategic planning is forward thinking, it considers historical data and measurement for future strategy outcomes.
- It allows you to see what you do right, what you do wrong?
- Identify what changes would need to be made in the current structure for the future strategy.
Even with all the detail, true success for any strategy comes when you keep it concise, keep it clear, ensure that there’s a consistent review of the strategic plan against what’s actually happening in your business and don’t lose sight of your goals.
Remember … if you talk about it, it’s a dream. If you envision it, it’s possible. But if you schedule it, it’s real.