Strategic planning is important in business. A strategic plan is about setting the company’s vision essentially just knowing what your business will look like when it’s finished – or when you’re finished with it (for example – if you want to sell your business or if you have plans for retirement).
“if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there” ~ Lewis Carroll
I know that the day-to-day demands of the business can sometimes mean that business owners lose sight of where they want the business to end up. Owner run businesses often miss what I call the strategic planning element. They focus too much on the tactical day-to-day stuff, they “get by” rather than planning for success and growth.
Often working the strategic plan is called working “on” your business rather than “in” your business. I call ‘where you want your business to end up your business vision or destination.
A strategic plan typically happens after a strategic planning event. Strategic plans don’t just happen, in the same way that holidays don’t just happen. Holidays take planning (or a bunch of mates who do the organizing and you freeload on their choice of holiday – but don’t be too upset when you don’t like their choice of destination!) Back to business.
Strategic planning and having a strategic plan is important because the destination you have in mind, will drive your activities today.
Back to a holiday example. If you’re planning to holiday in India, you’re likely to be doing different things than if you’re planning walking in the Cairngorms, in Scotland. Not least of all to do with your choice of vaccinations and suntan lotion.
The following scenarios are not prescriptive – but just to give you an idea of some of the possibilities when you’re thinking more broadly about strategic planning.
Scenario 1: You might be happy being a one-man-band offering high quality products or services. If your outlook for the next 5 years might be to do more of the same, more of what you enjoy.
Scenario 2: A similar small business owner might have aspirations to create a franchise from her business. A franchise to licence the IP (what you do, and how you do it … the secret sauce recipe). A franchise involves creating a standard way of doing things, having consistent methods of delivery. You then sell this to people wanting to start their own business. You might want to track more metrics and find ways to ensure your process is efficient
Scenario 3: A third owner might wish to simply grow the business so that they’re not doing the day-to-day work. In order to do this you have a team who do the work. This business owner would need to develop a different set of leadership skills so they can “let go” of the day-to-day control – AND still have a business! In the three scenarios the business person would benefit from looking at a different set of KPIs.
Scenario 4: Perhaps the business owner has a plan to retire and over the next 5 years will slowly reduce the business
Scenario 5: Perhaps the plan is to sell your business. Selling could be for a number of different reasons: to retire, or to start something new – the satisfying the entrepreneur itch.
Where you want to be in 5 or 10 years time depends on where you are now,your strengths and the strengths of your team and your appetite for success. It’s said that many people spend more time planning their summer holiday than they do their business’s destination, is it any wonder that so many small businesses struggle? In large organisations this is no different – what type of business leader are you? Are you content to “mind-shop” or do you have bigger things in mind for you and your department?
Whether you know your destination, or want more clarity on how to get there faster, with more profit and less stress. I offer strategic planning events.
I provide a bespoke planning package for larger organisations or those wanting more 1:1 coaching and planning workshops, which I hold once per quarter with a range of business owners. Take a look at what some business owners said after they attended FlyingSTART planning event in January –> testimonials.
Contact Angus Lyon on 07973 288043 to book your Destination Alignment.