Whether you’re just starting out or looking ahead to how you’ll scale your growth over the next few years, having and managing a strategy for the future of your small business is important. Too often, small businesses can conceptualize the value of strategic planning but ultimately back away, thinking that the scope of that type of strategy is better intended for larger operations.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Strategic planning is a business solution that can benefit operations of all sizes – from a small “mom and pop” local business to the largest corporation. We know that 70% of businesses that use a formal process for managing their strategy outperform those that don’t.
That last thing you want for your small business is to be on the wrong side of those numbers. Here is why strategic planning for small businesses is so important today.
Why Does Any Business Need Strategic Planning?
No business opens its doors with a plan to fail. Every business has their sights set on the future, and in order to make that future a reality, a plan that outlines goals and a strategy for achieving them is crucial. Without a plan, you’re just stumbling around in the dark, holding your breath and hoping you make it over the next hurdle. Strategic small business planning puts a system of procedures in place that will guide your business to meeting each of its goals and achieving measurable growth.
This type of planning looks different for each business. Some will strategize a rigid approach to short term goals, while another might plan for growth over a five-year period with room for flexibility to adjust to shifting business trends. Either way, strategic planning keeps businesses focused on the future, and prevents them from taking a hit from unexpected challenges along the way.
Key Points of Small Business Planning
Perhaps the biggest benefit from strategic planning for small business is that it provides a path of action to follow. Markets aren’t as predictable for smaller operations, and it’s easy to stray off course. An effective, comprehensive plan will include at least five basic elements.
- Mission or Objective: What does your business do, what purpose does it serve and how will it enhance the lives of consumers now and into the future?
- Business Goals: Where do you see your business in 2, 5 or 10 years? Small businesses are best served by focusing on the goals that will grow their operation in the next 2-5 years.
- Strategy: A detailed strategy for meeting each of the outlined goals.
- Implementation: Execution is where many small businesses fall short. Strategic planning includes an action plan that outlines strategy implementation step by step.
- Monitoring: Things change. Consistent monitoring helps recognize strong and weak points, as well as identify when you need to adapt to market shifts.
Keeping It Simple
The idea of planning for the future can be overwhelming. There’s no reason to make the process more complicated than it needs to be. A simple, actionable plan is better than no plan at all. It’s also important to remember you don’t have to take on this challenge all on your own.
We offer solutions designed specifically for small, growing businesses just like yours. If you would like to know more about identifying and implementing a strategic, actionable plan for your future growth, contact Steiner Business Solutions today.