As a small business owner, it is extremely easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind of ringing-up sales, managing projects, taking care of customers, etc. and forget about long-term goals and objectives for your business on down the road. This can result in missed opportunities for new markets, customers and sales, as well as cause you to stumble into problems that could have been avoided with a little foresight. This is why strategic planning for a small business is so important.
Strategic planning works best within a small group of key resources within the company, and outside consultants when possible. This helps you get many viewpoints about the company and the perceptions of it by the people on the front lines serving your customers every day. Getting help from a strategic planning expert can also be very helpful in guiding you through the process. You need that outside perspective to get an objective point of view about your business and how it operates
What Does Strategic Planning for a Small Business Do?
It assesses the current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (also known as a SWOT analysis) facing your business at the current time. This gives you an objective point-of-view on what the company is doing well (strengths) so that you can either capitalize on them or place on them “auto-pilot” while you focus on what the company is not doing so well (weaknesses). It is also a good idea to revisit your definition of an ideal target customer to see if you are missing any opportunities that might be a good fit for your business. Combining these with identifying possible concerns (threats) due to changing market conditions, competitor actions, technical issues, etc. will help you develop some long-term goals for your business.
Once the SWOT analysis has been completed, and long-term goals established, a long-term strategic plan can be created to help address the problems you have identified (weaknesses and threats) and take action on newly identified opportunities, and assign priorities, resources and deadlines to each of these issues.
A good strategic plan also puts metrics in place in order to measure the return on investment of the labor and resources applied to these strategies and evaluate the outcome to see if adjustments need to be made or if another approach is necessary.
Ready to Invest in Some Strategic Planning for a Small Business?
At Scenic City Business Solutions, we have experienced business strategy specialists who can help. Give us a call at (423) 777-4822, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online contact form to start working on your strategic planning solution today.