Most entrepreneurs create a business plan when they launch their company, but sometimes, when you’re wrapped up in the minutia of actually building a business, those plans fall to the wayside. When was the last time you updated your business plan? And does that business plan have a strategic plan behind it?
You read that right – a strategic plan outlines the goals, key performance indicators and targets you’ll work toward in order to support your business plan. Think of it like the roadmap to your success that helps you allocate resources. If you don’t have a strategic plan, this is your wake up call. You need one and it doesn’t have to be a complicated process.
First, take a step back from the day-to-day operations of your business for a bit and look at your business plan. Does that original – or updated – plan still jive with the business you have today? Does that plan itself need updated? If so, start there. If not, then you’re ready to build a plan.
Once you’re ready to start on your strategic plan, you need to know where you stand today. Look at the last three years and put together some high-level data about your business growth, business challenges and business opportunities. Once you have that data, start building out your SMART goals. How many goals you set is likely going to be depend on how aggressive those goals are, the support systems you have in place and the resources you have available.
One you have goals, you need to set key performance indicators, or KPIs. KPIs are the things you are going to measure to see how you are progressing toward your goals. For example, if you want to grow your business by five percent, your KPIs might be an increase in sales, additional staff members or even something like follows on Facebook. Your KPIs are going to depend on your individual goals.
Next you’ll want to set your targets. Targets are the numbers against which you’ll measure your KPIs. If you’re looking at sales, what percentage do you want them to grow or is there a number you want to reach? If you’re looking at staff size, how many additional people do you want to hire. If you have SMART goals, these should be easy to determine.
Once you have your goals, KPIs and targets, you can compare those to your business plan, make necessary adjustments and then start making decisions about how you’ll allocate your time, resources and energy.
A strategic plan is a map to help you reach your goals to help you grow your business. If you need help building that plan, it’s time to reach out to your local Growth Coach.