Most of us are concerned when it comes to closing off our 2019 accounts, and unfortunately, many small businesses forget to pause to plan for the year ahead.

What we want you to do is ask yourself:

  • Have I written it down to share with my staff, so I am not struggling to remember?
  • Did my business partner contribute? Were they in agreement? (If your spouse is your partner this might be critical!)
  • Are my staff aware of the direction you are taking the business? Have you got ‘buy in’ from them?

Strategic Planning
Strategic planning is essential for any business regardless of what stage of life it is in (Start-up to wind-up).

It is the process of defining the goals for the next year, which drives how to allocate resources (Time, labour, capital) for the year. Committing to a strategic plan shows that you are ready to take you business to the next stage. While most most small to medium businesses believe it is a daunting task, with no interruptions it should take a day to complete.

Here are some tips and tricks to get you started when preparing strategic plans:

Know Your Vision
You should have a vision for the business prior to commencing. A vision addresses the question of ‘What is the purpose of my business?’. It is one sentence that defines where you are taking the business into the future.

Examples include:

To organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
– Google

To create a better everyday life for the many people.
– IKEA

Setting Objectives and Goals
This is simply what you want to achieve over the next 12 months. These objectives are big ticket items, so three is more than enough or you won’t accomplish anything. 

These need to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic and Timely) objectives. By setting SMART goals you will able to review these goals in the future whether they have been achieved. It is demoralising for staff when leaders set vague goals that no one knows how to achieve.

Besides setting your objectives, prioritising which ones need to have to be achieved first is essential.

 Organise and Delegate Your Strategies And Tactics

The next steps are devising the strategy (how you achieve the objectives) followed by tactics (what you do to achieve the objective). Bringing in your key management staff is necessary at this stage as these are to people who will execute them.

You will need to ensure that the everyone is clear on who is responsible for executing the strategy and objectives and when they will achieve this. Remember if you try to do everything at once, nothing will get done!

Keep Your Strategic Plan Short
Your plan should be simple and easy for everyone to pick up, which means that you need to keep it to 1-2 pages.

Seek Independent Advice
If you are having difficulties putting the strategic plan together, seek independent advice. When you spend so much time in the business, getting an fresh perspective is beneficial to see where the business is going and what opportunities lie ahead.

By following these five keys steps, you will be ready to take your business to the next stage of success!

For further advice, call our office on (02) 4732 3844.