Writing a strategic business plan is a critical business management skill that unfortunately in small business is often neglected or ignored. Various studies show that only one in ten businesses have an up to date written business plan. Many businesses do a plan at some stage but 90% do not have an up to date consistent and competent planning process.
As a business coach, I create 90 day action plans every 90 days for all of my clients and the direct result is motivation, direction, focus and better results.
So what are the benefits of writing a strategic business plan? Well here are 5 main reasons why writing a strategic business plan equals maximum business success.
1.Better Management Results
Business planning has long been recognized as one of the first and critical functions of superior management. When planning is not done it is so much harder to lead effectively, to organize key staff, to know which marketing strategy to implement and to know how to grow your enterprise effectively.
2.Keeps your business on track and in better control
There is a proven link between effective leadership control and planning. Why? A business moving towards a set of pre-determined goals and targets, with specific strategies, has against this, a set of measurements and tracking to control if it is effective or not. With this crucial information, a business can therefore make better decisions enabling a better chance of success.
3.Integrate personal and business goals effectively
By focusing on a mix of personal and business goals creates a more realistic feeling going forward. After all, business and personal are always entwined. We all want to achieve more in our work or career so that our personal live is more effective.
A great idea is to put into every plan your three top five year goals for your company. Then your top three personal goals (only if you are the leader or owner).
Then deviate to the short term. Write down your three top one year business goals and personal goals. Have the courage to do this and put it in writing. Review it weekly and look at the possibility of changing your plan every 90 days. Follow this formula for the best chance of long term success.
4.Focus on goals and directions
Goal orientated companies generally out perform those without goals. A big statement but a truism as far as I am concerned. Are your business goals written down and clear?
If not, consider a 5 year view, a 1 year view and a 90 day view of your business and personal goals that are written down and smart tested. Smart tested stands for Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic and have a Time-frame.
5.Improve the efficiency of your systems and overall business performance
Policies and procedures are a vital part of your business improvement so writing a strategic business plan must outline what procedures you intend to improve over the next ninety days and beyond. A practical step depending on the size of your organization is to take one system or procedure every one to two weeks and write it down, look at it’s process and involve your team (if applicable) in improving it and document it further.
Imagine the difference in your business if twenty six policies and procedures were focused on and ultimately improved each year. Now that is continuous improvement at its greatest. Writing a strategic business plan with the planned procedures is an important bridge between thinking and implementation.
Writing a strategic business plan need not be a complicated, drawn out process. It can be motivating, enlightening, empowering and reflect the true feelings of leaders and others to achieve outstanding success. If you are serious about getting business success you must have a strategic business plan. Otherwise where you want your business to go and where you want it to be might not be where it finishes. Business failure and the lack of planning go hand in hand. The statistics tell us this. You need a plan to give yourself the best possible chance of outstanding success.
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