Some small-business owners mistakenly believe that the size of their business negates the need for strategic planning – but the opposite is actually true. Its inherent size is actually what makes strategic planning more important because it can be the means by which a small business gradually evolves into a huge and thriving Multinational Corporation.
What Small Business Owners Need to Know about Strategic Planning
Planning is one of the five important functions of management, but it is arguably the most important of all because it’s the first function that any manager or business owner should focus on. Planning sets the vision, goals and direction for the company. Without it, the other functions may be impossible to achieve.
A business can’t, however, benefit from just any kind of planning. It must be strategic in essence to be effective. Strategic planning is a methodical process of deciding where you want your company to be in a given time frame and what you propose to do to get there.
There are different ways to let your company benefit from strategic planning so don’t worry about following the so-called rules. Whatever works for your company is good enough.
Elements of Strategic Planning
Internal and External Assessment of Strategic Planning – A coach of a basketball team won’t be able to map out an effective play if he / she doesn’t know its players well, which team it will be playing against, and other related factors. The same can be said for any business manager. Before you can start working on the details of your strategic plan, you must first focus on compiling data about the external and internal environment of your company.
Outside your business, politico-legal, economic, and socio-cultural factors can affect how your business will fare in the next few years. Inside, factors such as management capabilities and the type of workforce you have can also help or hinder your company from attaining your goals.
Setting Your Company’s Goals – Small or big, the important thing is for your business to have goals. If you can be satisfied with small and short-term goals then that’s good; if you want to pursue bigger goals, that’s even better. To know if the goals you plan to work on are indeed workable, determine if they adhere to the WHY-SMART criteria – Written, Harmonious, Yours, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
Majority – Of course, as a leader of your organization, you reserve your right to approve or nay say any suggestion but as much as possible, listen and act on the consensus of your team. Plans can only come to fruition if everyone in the company works together and you can assure yourself of their cooperation by showing them that you care about what they think.
Devising an Action Plan – Finally, it’s time to concentrate on the nitty-gritty of your strategic plan. List down possible and specific courses of action. After you have brainstormed this list, choose what all of you deem as most suitable. Make sure that you set a definite schedule or timetable for everything and allow for unexpected delays and concerns. Establish a budget, as well.
The Ever-So-Popular Plan B – Last but not the least, devise a Plan B in the event that your first plan doesn’t work and list down indications to know when is the right time to put Plan B to action.
With the principles in this newsletter in mind, you should be able to build a great strategic plan for your organization!
Contact QuantumPhysicsofBeliefs.com for more information about Strategic Planning!