by Stephen Glicher
We plan to go on holiday or to carry out building work on our house, but when it comes to our own businesses it’s surprising how so few of us have a coherent plan and strategy in place.
Why have a strategic plan?
Do you remember why you started your own business? Perhaps you wanted some freedom and independence, or to feel more in control?
Well, the reality is often quite different and the stresses of everyday management can cloud our goals. However, a strategic plan can help you regain your vision and enable you to take control of your business.
These are essentially the reasons you are in business. You need to ask yourself what do you want personally from the business? How do you feel about your role, is this something you would like to change? How much do you want to earn over the next 5 years? Do material things mean anything to you? What makes you happy? When do you want to retire? These are all the sort of questions you, as a business owner, need to consider so that you can effectively shape your personal objectives that will drive the business.
Business objectives are really the mechanism through which you can deliver your personal objectives. Think about what level of profits you want to achieve over the next 5 years. It may be that you are quite happy with the profits as they are, or you can afford to earn less. There are no right or wrong answers to this as we are planning for what you want.
Of course, there are a whole host of other factors to consider. From
borrowing levels, the morale of the team, customer service, succession
to market changes and technology and so on. Too much internal
politics with everyone trying to score points over each other? Well
now’s the time to do something about it. Review your management
teams, reporting processes, types of meetings you hold and get
everyone working to the plan. Get your key people fully engaged
with the objectives you have set out, rate your structure and make
the necessary changes.
Finally, and the most important part, you need to have an initial action plan. Without action, nothing happens. It could be the greatest strategic plan that business has ever seen, but without you doing anything about it, it will all fall apart. You’ve spent the time doing this, so see it through and bring to life the changes you need to get the results you want. List out the action points that have arisen from the discussions and set a date when you expect to complete each one. Allocate some of the tasks to others, so you don’t have to do it all. Get others involved and they will feel as though they are part of the whole process.
So creating a strategic plan that can be measured against, is accessible to all key staff and most importantly, actionable, is vital to any business. Your plan should be a touchstone that is regularly referred to as a point of reference for all. So set your targets then go ahead and beat them. Get the business you deserve!
Harts can help
Harts are able to offer you a full, 1-day planning session, facilitating the process and documenting the outcomes in a bespoke report with ongoing monthly reviews to give you support and accountability. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch by contacting Steven Glicher directly or by calling the Harts Macclesfield office.
About Steven Glicher
Prior to joining Harts, Steven ran his own accountancy practice for more than 25 years. You can contact Steven directly by email firstname.lastname@example.org