There is nothing more I love than working with passionate and aspiring business owners to help them achieve their goals (and make them that bit happier). The way I go about this is to introduce them to my – Strategic Business Planning Process.
The planning process gives your business a clear vision and roadmap to get there, with a framework to monitor your performance. Helping you stay focused, while also providing you with the information to make quick decisions to realign, if you’ve gone off-track.
Step 1- Visualise Your Dream Business
How? A workshop to discover (or even rediscover) your vision and ‘why’ you do what you do (your purpose).
- Your target client
- Market position
- Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Step 2: Current State
Analyse your business’ current position by answering the following:
- Identify strategic issues to address
- Conduct a SWOT Analysis – Get your team to fill out a simple survey
- Define market opportunities and strengths
- List main threats & weaknesses
Step 3: Strategies & Priorities
Develop strategies & priorities that will allow you to realise your vision
- Use your SWOT analysis to set priorities.
- Identify Strategic Objectives and set SMART goals.
- List 5 long-term objectives – to be achieved in 2 years
- List 5 Short-Term Goals – To be achieved in the next 12 months
- Set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for you and your team. The trick in to ensure they’re measurable and can be reported on.
- Prioritise objectives into actions with timelines over the next 12 months
Step 4: Management Reporting
Translate strategy into management reports to measure performance:
- Design a financial model for up to 3 years in order to test strategy
- Design 3 way forecasts for the next 12 months
- Summarise KPIs into a dashboard report
Step 5: Resources
Align resources to ensure you have the people & money to achieve your goals
- Capacity Planning
- Assess people & organisational structure
- Align a Cashflow budget with a 1 year plan
- Staff Rollout
- Communicate strategy to your team, or better yet include them in the process
Step 6: Execute the Plan
Don’t rely on your memory, plan your implementation and follow up
- Set calendar reminders to complete action items
- Diarise accountability meetings quarterly and measure progress
Step 7: Re-Discover
This isn’t just a one-off process, as your business evolves your strategic plan needs to with it:
- Update your strategic plan annually
- Hold an annual retreat and return to phase 1
I get really fired up about strategic planning because, from experience, I know it works. A business can change very quickly when the owners are fired-up, passionate and focused. Their energy becomes contagious and re-invigorates the team, leading to a better working environment and greater business performance.