The end of the financial year is a god time to review your business strategy and ensure that you are “Set for Success” over the new financial year and years to come.
Let’s recap on the strategic planning process based on the “KISS” principle…….
Stage One – Review Your Current Situation
- Define what the business does – this appears simple but putting this in words and writing it down will provide the clear statement required to move forward. “We provide a short lead time printing service to metropolitan based advertising agencies”
- Define Targets – the business owner must state what the targets are going to be for the foreseeable future. “We will double the number of clients over the next twelve months and achieve sales of $2.5 million per year.”
- Define what is influencing the business – what is happening in our market, our competitors, our suppliers which will influence our business and our targets. This is where you need to get very good information on what is going on around you. You sales people will have good information, industry associations will have reports and newspapers/journals will be another source of information. Summarise this down to around five critical “things” that you will need to consider.
- Define what needs to happen within your business in order to achieve the target. This could be production related; numbers of staff; skill development; bonus and pay rates for staff; etc, the list goes on. Make sure that you test each of this as being critical to achieving the target, if they are not, get rid of them.
Look back over the last twelve months and question what has been done and achieved; what has worked well and what has been slow to get moving. Are your assumptions backed up with facts and data; does anything sound too farfetched or unrealistic. It is never too late get the strategy right.
This ensures that your strategy is “EVERGREEN” and is always up to date and relevant.
Stage Two – Plan to Implement
I will simply say here, you need to involve all your people and suppliers/customers to implement your strategy. Detail out your actions using the simple steps to project management. Get the actions and outcomes owned by individuals in your team. You can get basic planning tools from the internet to assist with this step.
Stage Three – Keep in Touch with Progress
This is a vital step in your business strategy process. This is where it can all fall down. As the business owner it is up to you to monitor progress, measure results and drive the fine tuning of the implementation while continuing to communicate the goals you want to achieve. Also, this step is essential to react to dramatic changes in costs, orders or anything else which comes along to challenge your business. I would strongly recommend a quarterly review – where you involve your key staff and measure performance and fine tune direction.
All the best for the NEW Financial Year.