I2D Episode 4: More Than a Business Plan: Why You Need a Strategic Plan
- November 8, 2017
- Posted by: Guest Blogger
- Category: Ideas to Done
Business plans are important.
Most business owners are familiar with the concept and importance of having a business plan. A business plan outlines the foundation of your business such as who owns the business, what is your mission statement and purpose, your competition and demographic market, and how you plan to make money. Business plans are typically created at the beginning of a business as part of the launching process, and most business owners are motivated to create them when they realize they need them to acquire funding.
However, while a business plan is helpful for outlining the structure of your business, and getting financing, a strategic plan has a different purpose. Strategic plans are implemented after a business plan, and can be created and updated at any point during the life of your business, but they are much more useful sooner rather than later. They identify both short and long-term goals, and more importantly, how you plan to achieve those goals. For example, if you set a goal that you want your business to earn $100,000 in gross revenue by the end of year two, and $500,000 by end of year five, you need to figure out how you are actually going to accomplish that. A strategic plan gives you the opportunity to create actionable tasks to get you there.
Strategic plans define action.
When you design your strategic plan, you create a timeline of these tasks and connect them with measureable results. For example, if you set the goal of $100,000 in revenue by end of year two, ask yourself what actions you need to take each quarter, each month, and perhaps each week, in order to get you there, and how will you measure your progress. You will then begin to build a plan that will define the steps you need to take in order to achieve your goals.
Understand your business on a deeper level.
The strategic planning process is helpful, not only because it is designed to generate results, but because it gives you the opportunity to really understand your business on a deeper level. Questions will lead to more questions and you may discover new strengths and weaknesses about your business, or how you manage it, that can be remarkably insightful. For example, you may find that your target market isn’t necessarily the best fit for your services, and you need to rethink your niche, which can lead you to understanding why your marketing efforts haven’t been as effective as you originally hoped. You might also learn that your products or services could be priced better, that the team you work with could be improved, or that you are missing huge opportunities to differentiate yourself from your competition.
Make time for strategic planning.
While creating a strategic plan may sound like a daunting task, it is much more manageable than you might think, especially with guidance and support, and it is crucial to the success of your business. Wishing for your business to be successful, while running it in “reactive mode”, will lead to burnout, stress, and frustration. When you run your business reactively, instead of proactively, it is nearly impossible to get ahead. However, when you take the time to map out a strategic plan you will have the best opportunity to improve, expand, and grow your business, while achieving your goals of success!
Kim Dawson, a Business Strategist and Consultant for entrepreneurs and small business owners, helps her clients by teaching them how to run their businesses better, and become more profitable. She works with entrepreneurs to help them connect their passions to smart, effective strategies in order to achieve the results they desire.
Kim is the host of ‘The Sassy Strategist Podcast’ and is launching her first book in 2018, “From Passion to Profits: The Sassy Strategist’s Guide To Building Your Business.” Connect with Kim on social media, @sassystrategist.
Friday, November 17, 2017 – Kim Dawson and Sarah chat about More Than a Business Plan: Why You Need a Strategic Plan. Register today to join the conversation!
See more of Sarah’s Ideas To Done conversations.