Many businesses want to change their dreams into reality.
So what is the best way to do this?
For a business, it is called Strategic Planning. This saying from Harvey MacKay captures the essence of what it is about. But Strategic Planning involves much more than saying I have a dream, let’s make it a goal and add a deadline. There is no point in having a dream and putting all of your effort and resources into it, only for it to fail. In some cases, this could cripple a business.
In the Strategic Planning process, you develop a plan or approach to achieve your dream by looking at all of the things you will do to get there and what may stop you from getting there. Your plan then outlines the actions you are going to take.
So why go through a strategic planning exercise?
Hey, we understand that you know your business really well. You live and breath it every day.
When we are running a business we are mostly focused on the efficiency of the day to day operations and not looking at information in a strategic way. A strategic planning exercise brings some focus to the decisions you are making about the future of your business. It can help you identify issues you have not thought of before and it often brings together information and ideas that maybe you haven’t considered.
You don’t know what you don’t know.
So what information to collect?
It obviously depends on your dream. If it is cost savings you will look at the above the line profits and the below the line costs. In plain English, above the line would be the profits achieved from sales, such a profit margins, product mix, up-selling, cross-selling, new markets, target customers, geographies, the cost of acquisition, onboarding, churn and more. Below the line could include financial position, assets, capital, stock holdings, stock rotation, value chains, cash flow, the cost of production, business efficiency, investments and more.
Your dream may be different, such as the employer of choice, to fix a problem, be the market leader, double your business, to grow new markets, to retire, to sell your business, respond to competitive pressures, changing markets, regulation changes, customer demand, technology upgrades, talent acquisition…..
This will help you determine what information you need to collect.
Get your team together and brainstorm what you need to collect. Then you can look at it collectively. discuss what has the potential to derail your plan and what you need to do to succeed. You may start with your current state and then what your future state would look like.
A topic for another day but, don’t forget the who, when, where, who with, to achieve what, how is it measured, how it is communicated, how it is managed, what resources, change plan, what does it feel like and review – review -review.