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How to Create a Strategic Plan for Your Business – Part 1

How to Create a Strategic Plan for Your Business – Part 1
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How to Create a Strategic Plan for Your Business – Part 1
Simon Chapman - The Alternative Board by Simon Chapman - The Alternative Board
Managing Director (Mid and North Kent) - The Alternative Board

If you’ve lost track of your business goals in the quagmire of your day-to-day challenges, you need to take a bit of time out to get back on track.  CapitalSpace business development expert, Simon Chapman, explains how to start developing a plan that will help you realise your dreams. 

As a business owner/leader do you find that too much of your time is spent working on the challenges
that are presented to you on a daily basis? Could it be more productive to invest more of your time on growing your business?

In my last blog, I highlighted the ‘Importance of Strategic Planning’, a process that will focus your mind towards the core goals of your company. There are 5 steps towards creating your strategic plan and this month I shall focus on the first 3.

Step 1:  Your visions - Company and Personal

Imagine a bike, your front wheel represents your Personal Vision. As you sit on the bike you are in charge of where you want to go and where you steer to get there.  Throughout the stages of your life, your personal vision will change; it can range from funding that dream holiday or moving home to exiting your business and retiring.  The means to how you achieve your Personal Vision is via the back wheel, your Company Vision.  It is the Company, your engine, which pushes the bike forward; it’s important that the wheels (your visions) on the bike are aligned.

Put down on paper short, bullet-point statements on what it is you want to achieve for yourself personally and for your company.  Your personal vision can be private to you, but your Company Vision should be shared with employees and clients.

Step 2:  SWOT Analysis

Most business owners understand why a SWOT analysis is carried out; it looks at the internal and external factors that contribute towards the success and challenges of the business and the way in which it is run. Some examples of SWOT analysis are:

  • S trengths – What differentiates your business from your competitors? What does your business do best?
  • W eaknesses – Where is the business underperforming? Could it be sales, marketing or personnel development?
  • O pportunities – Investigate new markets, use of technology, potential leads.
  • T hreats – Keep an eye on new competitors, incoming regulations and even the economic environment.

Step 3:  The Company Plan

Very few businesses have a company plan.  Formulate a Company Plan using the following stages to keep your business moving forward towards greater success

Stage 1 - Critical Success Factors (CSFs) .  Determine up to 5 of the most important factors that the business is facing today; these CSFs are conceptual in nature. Samples are:

  • Increase Sales Revenue
  • Operate the business at full capacity

Stage 2 – Goals.  For each CSF assign Goals that fulfil the

‘S.M.A.R.T’ criteria (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Responsible Party, Timeline). Samples are:

  • Increases sales revenues by 10% by year’s end
  • Develop a new product within 12 months and two within 24 months

Stage 3 – Strategies.  Develop no more than 5 Strategies (plans of attack) to achieve each goal. Samples are:

  • Implement a training program for sales staff
  • Review and update marketing material
  • Review bonus triggers for sales staff

Stage 4 – Actions.  Within each strategy assign no more than 5 Actions: who is going to do it and when is it going to be completed? Samples are:

  • Appoint marketing advisors to work on marketing materials for completion by end July
  • Review options and recommendations from research team on 25th April

In our next post, Simon will map out the final two stages for creating your strategic business plan: ‘Making it happen’ and ‘Turning the Wheel’

Aligning your personal and company vision, undertaking an objective SWOT analysis and formulating your company plan will start the momentum you need to bring your dreams to life.

To find out how   Capital Space business premises could benefit your growing business,  call 0800 107 3667

MEET THE EXPERT

Simon Chapman – Managing Director, The Alternative Board (Mid and North Kent) 

Simon’s passion for helping the owners of small- and medium-sized businesses succeed led him to become the local owner for The Alternative Board (TAB) in Mid and North Kent.  Having held senior positions within the Fund Management and Banking Industries,  has wide expertise in devising and implementing strategies with business owners and their management teams. It is this insight and knowledge gained over the past 20 years that Simon looks to share amongst forward thinking business owners to help them strive.