You have a spectacular business. Your product is top-of-the-line, and your service is top-notch. Business is steady but not growing as fast or as stable as in the past. Does it have something to do with your team? Or, are your processes not as efficient or as effective as they have the potential to be?
Maybe your business is booming and growing rapidly. How can you handle that growth? What happens when you become too big to fulfill orders on time or manage client expectations?
Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the details of the business. You can become very tactical, often losing sight of the bigger picture. You can get wrapped up in things like worrying about this one person, or that particular product, or a small memo. These all beg questions like, “Where is your business going? When you do move forward, how does your business shift and adjust to meet that growth?”
It all starts with a dynamic strategic plan.
For the very reasons stated above, a strategic plan is necessary for your business. You need to know where you’re headed and have points, processes, goals, and steps to help you get there. Without those things, you’re wandering blind in a competitive business world with your employees and clients relying on you.
So how do you go about creating a strategic plan? Depending on the type of business, there’s practically an infinite number of ways. But we can tell you for sure what every business plan must be.
Your plan must be…
People talk and talk about creating a plan, and when they finally do, they just let it sit there. What point is there in having a plan if you don’t follow through with it? Use it! Execute it! Your business won’t go anywhere without you implementing change that has been designed strategically to help it.
You constantly hear about how fast things change in your industry. Technology has changed our world. Rapid changes in technology force rapid changes in the business environment sometimes causing our goals to become obsolete. So, how are you accounting for that? Is your plan flexible and dynamic enough to accommodate these changes? If new technology is introduced, can you take time to learn and implement that technology before losing ground to your competitors or market? Or, what if your business hinges on something that constantly fluctuates, like the price of oil or the housing market? It also may be something more internal, where you lose an important member of your team or a process stops working for whatever reason.
When creating your plan, consider all external and internal factors and design a plan that accounts for all of them. Furthermore, ensure you have a process in place that allows for tactical changes as needed to ensure the long-term goals are met.
To make sure you are following through with your plan, it’s helpful to set goals (more on this to come) and keep track of your progress. Take note! Who is working the plan? What’s working in your plan? What’s not? Take advantage of the flexibility you’ve built into your plan and make adjustments to capitalize on those successes.
Keep track of where you are in your plan and how far you need to go. Have you reached your quarterly objectives? How are your daily decisions aligning to the long-term goals? Have you implemented the new process you have in place once you reached a certain capacity? What about hiring that new manager when you exceeded [x] amount of clients? Knowing where you are in your plan will help you continue to move forward and stay on track.
Here’s the key: it’s a mistake to track the plan without accountability. We find that a lack of accountability is the failing piece of any plan. At the core of accountability is commitment; a willingness to be held accountable and hold others accountable.
Accountability isn’t about being mean, ruthless, or unbending. Rather, it is the piece that does the heavy lifting in meeting your goals. At the outset, it sets the stage for who is responsible for each part of the plan and who is holding that person liable. During the process, the metrics will drive the next accountable actions.
To be sure, accountability requires commitment and without it, nothing gets done.
The best way to ensure you meet these criteria in your strategic business plan is to hire a business advisor who understands your industry, your clients, and is more than willing to join you in your path to business success.
At Nexecute, we are willing to do just that. In fact, we go above and beyond. We’re more than just consultants. We become a part of your business, and use specific processes of our own to help you reach your potential. In fact, The Momentum Accelerator is perfect for a business that needs the essential strategic plan.
Stay tuned for the next blog post for the second reason in Why You Need Trusted Business Consultants where we discuss the importance of Goal Setting.