Just the phrase ‘strategic planning’ can be overwhelming to business owners. It can conjure up images of big businesses employing hundreds of staff, lengthy board room meetings and senior executives rushing from important meeting to important meeting.
Yet strategic planning is equally important to all businesses, it is the blue print, the road map for the business. Having a strategic plan not only sets the direction for the business but it also keeps the business focused, on track and accountable for its performance.
Here are 5 reasons why the business needs a strategic plan:
1. it gives clarity on how to grow the business, deciding the key goals to pursue to achieve growth and how to achieve them.
2. it helps improve the customer experience by looking at ways to increase the value delivered to customers.
3. it provides a framework which explores areas where the business can out-compete rivals.
4. it assists the business to respond to, and prepare for, changes in the market place and the environment in which it operates.
5. it highlights how to develop the capabilities needed to achieve the objectives.
As business owners we often spend so much time in the ‘here and now’, running the business. Taking the time, effort and energy to focus on the future direction of the business can get pushed to the ‘when I have time’ file. Yet, by setting time aside to work ‘on the business’ and going through the strategic planning process is time well invested.