You decided to start a business in an underserved community. You’re playing you’re part in delivering the services or goods local residents need.

But what’s your long-term game plan for keeping your doors open?

Without proper strategic planning, you could find yourself struggling with finances, vision, and organizational alignment. This can turn into issues that could potentially disrupt your flow of business and shut you down.

So to prevent this, we strongly encourage you to consider professional strategic planning with experts.

Here’s a closer look at what this involves.

What is Strategic Planning?

Strategic planning involves documenting and establishing the direction of your small business. It covers all the aspects of your business, such as the vision, goals, mission, and values.

Its purpose is to provide your business with the organization it needs to operate optimally. With a well-written strategy, you can ensure your business stays focused on short-term and long-term goals, so you have a higher chance of meeting them.

What Are the Benefits of Strategic Planning?

Alright, so you know why having a strategic plan is essential. But how exactly does it help your small business succeed?

Here’s an overview of why you should seriously consider having one:

  • Provide clarity, direction, and focus, so everyone’s on the same page
  • Have a clear plan for everyone’s role and duties to achieve goals
  • Ensure your business stays aligned with its initial mission and displays this in all company messaging
  • Operate your business proactively (no reactively) so you’re always ahead
  • Boost the odds of your business lasting for many years

With the assistance of strategic advisors, you can get expert tips on how to turn your business into a success story you can be proud of.

Next, let’s review what’s involved in strategic planning.

3 Elements of Strategic Planning

When you decide to consult with a strategic planner and advisor, you’ll go through three critical steps:

  1. Defining your strategic goal. At the start of your meeting, you will cover what you want to do with your business. This includes going over how you’ll stand out among competitors, earn a profit, and various other factors to ensure success.
  2. Documenting your current status. At this stage, you’ll go over the present capabilities of your business. This includes the strengths and weaknesses, so you’ll know what needs adjustment and improvement.
  3. Creating a plan to reach your goals. Now that the advisor knows what you’re trying to achieve and your company’s current state, the planning begins. This will cover how you can overcome your weaknesses and improve your business.

In the end, you’ll have a complete (and documented) understanding of what needs to happen next to work towards success.

7 Key Components of a Strategic Plan

You’re ready to get the ball rolling for your strategic planning. But what should you include?

Here’s a breakdown of the elements you’ll find in strategic plans:

  1. Vision Statement: A description of how you envision your business, and it’ll help your staff understand what your company is all about.
  2. Core Values: A description of your company’s beliefs and behaviors (i.e., leadership, integrity, being human, shaping a better future, etc.).
  3. Long-term Goals: Determines how you’ll achieve your vision (within three to five years).
  4. Action Plans: Outlines the steps your business will take to achieve each of its goals.
  5. Mission Statement: Talks of what your business does, for whom, and how.
  6. SWOT Analysis: Stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It shows your position in your market, its competitors, and happenings.
  7. Annual Objectives: Shows your goals for the year and details how each will be achieved. These are broken down into short-term goals.

Working Together with a Strategic Planning Advisor

As a small business owner, you want your business to succeed. But there’s only one way to ensure this — to plan accordingly.

With the assistance of a strategic advisor, you can ensure you’re making the right moves for your business — both now and the future.

If you’re ready to discuss your small business’s goals and next steps, then reach out to us today!