I met up with a colleague last week for a coffee, and as we both undertake coaching with Managers and Leaders, we headed down the path of the typical things we see within businesses.
It continues to amaze us how many businesses of all shapes and sizes survive by just focusing on the week to week without any longer term goals or strategies. We see many with limited or no business plans, and less with clear objectives of what they want to or can achieve in the next year, let alone in the years to come. Managers and owners of companies seem to hope that something will shift, things will improve, and the breakthrough is just around the corner without doing anything tangible to change.
Growth in any business takes effort, resources and planning. Planning requires a concentrated effort to consider what the organisation does well and to capitalize on and learn from that. Planning assesses what we may do poorly and identify actions or processes to correct and improve.
The most effective planning tool is a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis to understand the different aspects of the business, and from each assessment determine a way forward, or plan, to build on what works and correct what doesn’t. It isn’t rocket science, but it can be time consuming in the initial stages, and it requires regular review to make sure the plan remains in place and gets updated to allow for new issues as they arise.
A strategic business plan is essential for any size business. It helps to put the dream on paper and keeps the focus on what needs to be accomplished to achieve it. So take some time out today, and write the plan if you don’t have it, or review the plan if you have left it on the shelf for a while. There are some good templates available online for business plans, and other tools, so refer to the links below to get started.