As a business coach, one of the first questions I ask clients is whether or not they have a working business plan. You’d be surprised as to how many entrepreneurs do not. They tell me they are working from a vision they have in their head, or they’re optimistic that their day-to-day efforts will prevail in the end. Well, hope is not a business plan. No matter what size your business is, a strategic plan lays out the strategy and supporting tactics or activities that will meet the goals of the plan. Writing a well thought-out and organized strategic plan dramatically increases your odds of succeeding as an entrepreneur.
Basically, a strategic plan will guide a company toward profitability. In order to do that however, it needs to include some critical data like a SWOT analysis – or a view of your company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The Strengths and Weaknesses are usually a view of the internal structures of your business and the Opportunities and Threats are generally external. Your strategic plan should also clarify the mission of the company as well as state your long and short-range financial goals. Once these details are defined, you can then include a detailed tactical plan or list of activities that will get you to reach your revenue goals and financial objectives.
There are many aspects to creating a strategic plan including determining your market and how are you going to affect that market. Once you determine your market or markets, you can then list the activities and timelines needed to bring brand awareness of your company to that market. Without a strategic plan, the day-to-day activities are not measurable. Growth cannot be measured and mistakes will often be repeated. With most businesses, there will be major decisions that need to be made on a regular basis. These decisions need to be made in support of your company’s mission and strategic plan.
An experience business coach will guide you through the process of creating a strategic plan and/or help you stay on course with your existing plan. And, a key benefit of partnering with a business coach is that they will hold you accountable to your financial and revenue objectives.