What is the goal of your business? Do you have a direction and vision? In other words, do you have a Strategic Plan for your business?
When you started, perhaps you had a business plan in place. However, to be successful in the long term, you will also need to plan strategically. Planning helps you achieve what you set out to do. Whether in business or in life, without a strategy is like navigating an unknown territory with no guidance or a map to follow.
So what does a Strategic Plan look like, is it essential for your business and if so, what should you include in it?
We’ve indicated that a strategic plan is essential for navigating your way around your business, but more than that, your Strategic Plan should examine what your business is doing, and determine what you’re good at (or not!). From there, you can work out where you want to be in the long-term, and allocate your resources accordingly so that you achieve those goals. Here are 5 essential elements to include in your plan:
1. Mission & Vision
So, why do you have a business? What is your vision for your business? You should have a clear idea of what you aspire to be in the future, and an overall direction you want to follow. Examine your Mission – it is what you are doing now – determine your marketplace, customers, and competitors. Describe how you have been doing business, be specific and objective. Are you doing well? What can you improve on?
2. Strengths and Weaknesses
Which leads us to identifying what your business is good at, and what issues you may be facing. Consider a SWOT analysis, this is a strategic analysis that helps you find your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Once you have a clear picture of where you’re at, then you’re ready to set some goals.
3. Goals & Objectives
This is where you will come up with realistic goals and objectives to accomplish. They should focus on both short-term and long-term time frames, based on the analysis of what issues you need to resolve, while playing out your strengths. These goals will also take advantage of the opportunities identified above.
4. Action Plan
Now that you have your goals listed, you can then prepare a step-by-step plan of how you are going to accomplish those goals. Who, what, when, where and how? What is your budget and what resources do you have to allocate? This will help you remain focused and on track with your operations.
5. Monitor & Review
Once you launch your strategic plan, don’t forget to monitor its progress, observe changes in the marketplace, and review regularly to see if anything needs to be adjusted. It is a good idea to go back and review once every quarter to make sure you are staying on course.
With a strategic plan in place, it provides the springboard to delve into your overall marketing strategy. If you are unsure how to go about setting up your marketing plan, bouncing out of your broader business goals, we can walk through a ‘marketing health check’ of your business, and help you best reach your target market, where you will get the best return on investment for your marketing dollars.
Give us a call today: 0425 266 783