Strategic Business Plan: Why Your Business Needs One in 2023
A strategic business plan is like a road map during your company’s journey toward reaching a long-term goal. The main purpose of the plan is to elevate your company from where it is now to where you want it to be. Your plan can give you a glimpse into the future. The process is an exciting and encouraging way to invigorate your company.
Why Your Business Needs a Strategic Business Plan
If your company does not have goals, you are simply not working toward anything. You may be conducting business as usual, however you aren’t actively trying to grow. Guess what: your competitors are actively setting goals and accomplishing them. Where does that leave your business? The best way to improve your business is to set goals and reach them. A strategic business plan best accomplishes this.
Know the difference between a business plan and a strategic plan. A business plan is used to begin a new business, while a strategic plan is used to move an existing business in the desired direction. Your business plan got you started, and now your strategic plan can spawn new growth and success.
There are many pros associated with a strategic business plan, and very few cons. Devising a plan will take time and resources, but your investment will be measurable in many ways. Review the process of building a plan to learn more about why your business needs one in 2023.
Get your Team Involved
Consider gathering key team members to formulate the plan with you. This is a great team-building activity, and it also creates a sense of ownership within your organization. Getting others involved during the planning process can make the execution process more efficient. Once you have your team in place, everyone should agree to be honest and transparent. Prepare your team for disagreements.
Your plan will be stronger if it is developed by the very people who will be executing it. Schedule regular meetings for your core group; occasionally invite other employees, vendors, or trusted consultants to give a fresh perspective. Set goals for each meeting. You shouldn’t develop a strategic business plan in one meeting. Instead, spread the work over a period of time.
Build your Plan in 3 Steps
Strategic business plans are a way to organize your team’s responsibilities so everyone can work towards common goals. They can be basic or very involved but either way, your business needs one. Annual strategic plans can guide your team through a year, or you can plan ahead 3-5 years with a long-term plan. Either way, the goal of the plan is to guide you strategically through the duration. It may sound intimidating, but you and your team can develop a strategic business plan in three steps:
1. Study Your Business & Determine Goals
What do you want to accomplish? There are many goals to hope for but which ones are most important to you? Determining your business goals is the first step to the plan. Your goals should be measurable; identify which key performance indicators you’ll be tracking.
How will you pay for your plan? Now is the time to set a budget for reaching these goals. Later in the process, you’ll be checking in on the budget, evaluating the results, and updating your plan.
Now that you’ve set your future goals, you will need a clear vision as to where your business is now. Gather information about your company and study it. Perform market research too. Your market research will help your team sift through the competition. While you’re at it, study your customers and identify the qualities of your target customer. Their wants and needs will be important things to keep in mind while you write and execute your plan. Share it with your team and open the floor for discussion.
In this phase, also determine your company’s mission statement, vision statement, and core values.
A mission statement explains what your company does. Maybe you sell a product. Perhaps you provide a service. Whatever your company does, work with your team to drill down and simplify your mission into one solid sentence. Write and revise as needed until you and your team have a clear picture of what you do.
Example: Dollywood – “Creating memories worth repeating®”
A vision statement explains who you want your company to be. It depicts what you want your company to look like, emotionally, and what you hope to achieve with your mission.
Example: Microsoft – We strive to create local opportunity, growth, and impact in every country around the world.
Your core values describe who your company is and why it does things the way it does. Being accountable, respectful, environmentally conscious, honest… These are all desirable core values. Make a list of your core values so that your team can commit to abiding by them during the length of your plan (and beyond).
Example: Tanger Outlets – Consider community first, seek the success of others, act fairly and with integrity, and make it happen.
2. Conduct a SWOT Analysis
This is an opportunity for you to leverage your strengths and limit the effects of your weaknesses.
A SWOT analysis organizes your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This analysis is generally laid out in a quadrant. Sketch out a grid and begin populating each box. Again, include your team and be prepared for their honest input.
Start with your strengths. This will get the process off on a positive note, and listing strengths is the most enjoyable part. Pointing out your weaknesses, on the other hand, can be discouraging. Keep in mind that this is an opportunity to begin changing your weaknesses into strengths. You can even put that in your opportunity box! Every business has weaknesses, but not all of them commit to bettering them. Congratulate yourself on this commitment to positive change!
Identify your company’s future opportunities as well as the threats you face.
3. Formulate the Strategic Plan
Here you will physically craft a document that lays out the process your team will use to reach your goals. This is the outline your team will refer to as you implement the plan.
First, list the information from step 1: goals, mission and vision statements, core values, and market research. Next, add your SWOT analysis. Finally, you lay out the specifics of how your company will reach its goals. It’s best to draft the actual document as you go, and then edit it into a finished product.
Once you finalize your strategic business plan, take some time to study it on your own and then write an executive summary. Place the summary at the beginning of the document like a cover sheet. It should clearly but briefly summarize your plan. Now that your document is complete, make copies and distribute them throughout your organization.
The Implementation Phase
Your team can move into the implementation phase and everyone will be working in accordance. You’ll need to periodically review the plan and update it based off of your measurable results. Continue regular meetings with your team to discuss the plan’s progress, and update the document as needed.
A strategic business plan is a fluid document and your team will need to be adaptable. There may be positive changes, such as meeting goals earlier than anticipated. Negative changes should be met with a willingness to adjust.
We Can Help Formulate Your Strategic Business Plan
Your business needs a strategic business plan, now more than ever. The business landscape is changing rapidly and your competitors are growing in number. Chances are, they’re growing in size too. Don’t be left behind! Formulate your strategic business plan for 2023.
Kellum Creek Business Solutions offers affordable, reliable resources for your small to mid-size business. We can help you create a strategic business plan. Contact us today to get the ball rolling. Call us at 865.286.5285 or contact us here. We offer a variety of services to help grow small to mid-size businesses, and we look forward to partnering with you!
Authored in Appalachia || Amy Morton