Common Business

Common Sense Business Ideas and Information

Does My Company Need a Strategic Plan?

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The short answer is yes.  The better question is what kind of strategic plan does you organization need? If you are a small business that is not competing in a dynamic environment and you don’t want to grow you probably do not need a big drawn out written document.  With this type of business the owner is the individual living the business and carrying out its day-to-day operation. It is very easy for him or her to keep the plan in their head. 

Planning process forces you to think about your business from the ground up

Any business, large or small, that is in a dynamic market positively needs to spend the time to get a plan on paper.  A business plan forces an owner to sit down and think about the business from the ground up, to think about where the business is going in the future and how to get there.

What business am I in?

The business plan starts with the old question, what business am I in?  It is amazing how many business owners will chase what they see as the latest opportunity to expand the business without the resources to continue to support the old portion of the business much less the new.

What are the businesses strengths and weaknesses?

The plan will allow you to take a good look at the business.  What are its strengths and weaknesses?  How does it fit in its environment?  How does the business stack up to the competition? What are the primary objectives of the business?  What are the tactics that will be used to attack the company’s market?  What are the actions necessary to implement the tactics that have been developed? How the company will measure its success or failure?

Make your plan a working document

The primary key to the success or failure, in the use of the plan, is to make it a working document.  Many businesses go through the motions of developing a plan, but then it just sits on the shelf until the next planning cycle begins.  The plan needs to be communicated to the entire company.  There must be a commitment within the organization to execute the plan. (This is best accomplished by having the entire organization be a part of the planning process, so it is their plan not the company’s plan.)

Plans are not perfect be ready to communicate changes

The plan must become a living breathing element of the company.  It must be recognized the plan is not perfect and will change as you move forward.  Adjust the plan as needed.  Communicate the changes and continue to see how the company is progressing toward the plan.

Business plans are for going concerns

Finally, business plans are for going concerns.  If your business is failing you just have to do day-to-day, what it takes to survive.  A business plan can only help guide you to the future it cannot get you out a current rut.

Written by John Marrinan

September 3rd, 2009 at 8:26 pm

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