The Importance Of Having A Strategic Plan In Every Business
Many people start their small businesses with a simple objective in mind, but don’t initially put much thought into creating a strategic plan for their business. This can mean that they lack direction when making decisions relating to the business, making it harder to expand and grow.
The most important consideration when creating your strategic plan is your end goal.
- What do you want your business to be known for?
- What will you be working towards?
- Do you want to have multiple locations, or a certain percentage of market share?
These are high level, broad questions about the nature of your business, which will then inform your day-to-day operations.
Putting your plan into writing is a crucial step in the process, as it makes your commitment to your strategy concrete and provides you with a clear direction. It’s okay if you amend your strategic plan as your business develops, but it’s important to have formulated an initial strategy at the outset.
Once you have your objective, you can create a list of tasks you need to complete to meet that objective, as well as a timeline for achieving those markers. Until you know your final destination, you will struggle to map the path there. This will also help you to create your day-to-day plans and objectives, always keeping the larger goal in mind.
One of the key benefits of having a strategic plan that takes a long-term view is that it informs not only your own actions as the head of your business, but it gives your employees a clear sense of what they’re working towards. Employees want to work for businesses and organisations with a clear purpose and direction, so by formulating and executing your strategy, you will create a better, stronger team.
Having your strategic plan act as the foundation for your business also means that your team will keep it in mind and will formulate their own ideas and objectives within that framework to support your business. You want to create a business culture where people’s creativity can be effectively used to support your goal, and the best way of achieving that is if everyone in the business is working off the same roadmap.
Once your strategic plan is in place, ensure that you adhere to the objectives set out in your plan. Business experts David Norton and Robert Kaplan wrote in their book The Balanced Scorecard that 90 per cent of businesses that begin with strategic plans fail to execute their strategies successfully. Your strategic plan should act as a guiding light for your business, so whenever you make a decision, even those that seem minor, refer back to your plan and work out how you can make a choice in a way that serves that objective.
It can be challenging to create your strategic plan on your own, especially in the early days of your business. This is a stage where it’s particularly helpful to consult with experts outside of your business. External business consultants can ask you objective questions about your business and encourage creative, strategic thinking. Our team of consultants are highly experienced across a broad range of industries and sectors, allowing them to put their expertise towards helping your business thrive, without having their judgement clouded by a personal stake in the enterprise.
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