Across the UK, and right here in the Thames Valley, there are small businesses with five or fewer employees. There are slightly larger businesses with between five and 50 employees. Yet despite their small size, these businesses can still benefit from strategic planning. I believe you can make the case that they actually need strategic planning if they intend to accomplish long-term growth and viability.
Strategic planning for business goes well beyond just the general business plan developed when a small business was first started. It gets to the heart of a company’s mission and vision and how they expect to fulfil both. It addresses organisational structure, resource utilisation, operational priorities, employee functions, and so on.
Strategic Planning Encourages Success
No small business owner goes into business in the hope of failing. I dare say that none go into business expecting to fail, either. But success is not something that happens by chance. Success is something that is planned for. It is something that is achieved by developing, implementing, and following a detailed strategy.
Strategic business planning encourages success by focusing ownership and management on a core set of goals. It encourages success by empowering staff members to do their part to contribute. When individual goals are achieved, it rewards those responsible so as to foster greater pursuit of future goals.
In a nutshell, strategic planning gives purpose to what a business does day-to-day. Just like military planners strategically plan an offensive, business leaders plan how they intend to reach their goals and objectives. With a plan in place, there is a purpose to doing what needs to be done.
Failure Is the Other Option
It has been said that failing to plan is planning to fail. As an expert in strategic planning, I can attest to the truth of that statement in the arena of small business. Too many small business owners fail to engage in any kind of strategic planning. Some reach a certain level of success and then plateau thereafter; others fail completely.
The lack of a strategic business plan means day-to-day operations are left to the whims of management. Without a strategic plan in place, businesses are led back and forth by whatever happens to be blowing in the wind that day. And just as a ship without an engine drifts aimlessly on the water, a business without a strategic plan has no clear direction.
In closing, there’s one very important thing to remember: every major corporation in the world started out as a small business. Some of them started out as businesses with fewer than five employees working out of the owner’s home. They all succeeded, in part, because of effective strategic business planning.
If you own a small business you want to see grow and expand, strategic planning for business is something you need. I’m here to help. Contact me so we can begin putting together an effective strategic plan for your company. You are not going to grow without it.
By Peter Smith.
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