Strategic planning is important for your business because it provides a sense of direction and outlines measurable goals to keep you and your business on track. In order to make the most of strategic planning, your business should give careful thought to the goals it outlines and then back up these goals with realistic measures for evaluating results.
Here are three tips on how to create business goals and things to consider:
The goals you set for your small business will be unique to your particular operation. Goals can include income or customer growth, market expansion, implementation of a new promotional strategy or development of a new product or service. All goals should be reasonable, achievable and measurable, as well as relevant to your business. Once you have goals established, assign them to an owner and prioritise them. The assigned priority could be driven by budget or business-building need.
Establish reasonable deadlines, and resist the urge to change them unless extreme circumstances warrant. Missing deadlines can result in additional project costs and slowed productivity. Encourage your team to meet their deadlines.
Changes in your team, in your budget or in economic or market conditions may change the validity of your goals. While having specific goals and deadlines in place is representative of smart business operations don’t be so rigid in your planning that you lose the ability to be flexible when necessary. Periodically re-evaluate your operating strategy and goals to ensure they are still appropriate to your long-term business plans.
As a small business owner you can gain an advantage over your competitors by developing business goals. Developing a plan helps you assess your market, plan your course of action and devise specific ways to help you achieve desired outcomes. This approach can also keep your team members focused and on track, which can give you the added advantage of increased productivity.
It’s an incredible thing when a little idea grows to something bigger than you could have imagined.
Jack and Angela McGregor started their business as a “hobby”. Angela was a homemaker and it gave her a creative outlet. The intention was that the business would pay its way, and with luck, earn the family a little extra income. It did all this and more. How it grew!
The business was totally reactive. Angela was constantly putting out fires. This was not the creative outlet the McGregors planned but its income potential was irresistible. They needed help on many fronts.
Initially, they sought the help of their Accountant for advice on one simple issue. They needed a suitable accounting package. Like their business, their requirements grew rapidly as they realized the benefits of seeking help.
Their Accountant initially took over the management of the business accounting, finance, tax, and compliance work to improve efficiencies and apply industry best practices.
As a next step, the Accountant worked with the McGregors to create a Strategic Plan for their business and to keep them accountable. Once they had this, they had clear goals, timeframes and measures to know if they were on track. The future was now very clear.
The Accountant has grown with the business. They continue to provide the McGregors with ongoing assistance, strategic advice and support. Currently they are working collaboratively to establish and document systems.
Jack and Angela put their faith in their Accountant and together they have created a business that demonstrates controlled growth in an evolving market.
As a bonus, they also implemented a great accounting package.