A Business Tool Everyone Needs
A strategic plan is a business tool that every business should have. Sadly, not that many do and there is a myriad of reasons why they don’t with the biggest two being:
Cost factor – it can be prohibitive for a small business to engage a consultant or facilitator to assist with the development.
Missing the point about what a strategic plan really does for a business.
A good strategic plan is not a large and boring document. It’s user-friendly and simple to read. The reason it works is that it lays out your pathway. Your pathway needs to be measurable, achievable and progressive.
Think of it as your MAP to success. Your personal map that will guide you on which opportunities and roads to follow to reach your goal. It should be a tool that you regularly refer to because it shows you WHERE you are going.
When you use your GPS to navigate yourself to a spot, you put in a precise address. The directions are then clear and easy to follow. If you just put in the suburb you could end up quite some distance away from your intended destination.
It’s the same with your strategic plan. Unless you have the direction clearly written down it is pretty much impossible to tell if things are on track. If you don’t know exactly where you are going, you will never know when you have arrived. This then leads to feelings of discontent with the way you are progressing.
Your MAP is also extremely valuable when you are tempted to go after a shiny object. You know something new comes onto the market, you hear a great pitch and decide immediately it might be perfect?
This is the time to look at your plan and check it aligns with your goals. If it does great! If not, then move on and keep your eyes firmly on the goals you have set.
Being strategic means being specific
It is important to be very specific about your goals. As an example, writing down “gain new business” is not clear. It is not strategic in the least. It’s a general statement.
Why do you want new business? Is it because you want more $$ in the coffers?
If it is just $$ ask yourself this question – could you gain these from existing clients/customers? If you answered yes, then your goal should not be new business. It should be an increase in profits.
From there you need to think about how much turnover you need in order to make that profit. Be clear on the $$ amount that would equate achieving that goal. For instance, having 10 new customers at $5000 each is not the same as having a goal of $50,000.
Your strategic plan will help you pursue the right goal at the right time. The strategies you use to attract 10 customers are not the same as the ones you’ll use to gain the extra $50K. Whatever your answer is, it all begins with gaining clarity.
Once you have that clarity it is then time to start moving forward with the confidence that you are heading in the right direction. Want to learn how to formulate your own strategic plan? Reach out to me as I’d love to help you just as I’ve helped so many others.
Until next issue…
Michelle Hanton firstname.lastname@example.org 898082
Michelle Hanton OAM is a multi-award winning international business strategist, the founder of Dragons Abreast Australia and former CEO of Lifeline Top End. Her business, Dragon Sisters, specialises in actionable, momentum building support to help move businesses to the next level.