Many business owners (especially those who have a non-business background) struggle when it comes to creating a strategic business plan for their business. Chances are they never run a business before, and even in the days of “work” they are not involved with everyday business management.
So when it comes to running their business, they fight!
“Still need to find out (sit and really learn) How to do this!” Said one business owner to me earlier this week.
They have dreams for their business, is an expert in whatever they do, but don’t know how to take the idea / dream and turn it into a decent and profitable business … so they continue in an overwhelmed and frustrated state, with a growing business slow.
Spending time planning all your business activities is very important if you succeed in the long run. It’s not just about planning your business – you need to understand the strategy behind what you will do. And you also need to understand how all parts of your business fit together to make a coherent business.
Today, I want to share with you a simple process and 3 steps, to sit down and compile your own strategic business plan.
Plan – Schedule some time on your calendar to work on your business plan. Some people choose to take mini-retreats from their offices. It can spend a day at your local coffee shop, or really go out of town for a few days. Or you can schedule one or two hours and sit quietly in your office planning your business (that the advantage of doing in your office is that you have all your business information there with you). Whatever is the most successful for you to work best for your business. But what’s important is, you scheduled in time to make your plan!
Investigate – what will you offer for the next 90 days; 6 months; 12 months? I like to have a loose 12 month plan, but then have a very specific 90-day plan on the spot. It is much easier to focus and applied with a shorter time frame than to do it, say, a period of 12 months. Sometimes planning so far can feel extraordinary. But it’s important to have a “big picture vision” in place so you know where you are headed.
Also when you decide what you will offer to ask yourself, “Does this make sense? Does it match the vision of my big picture?” This is where understanding the strategy behind your business starts playing. It’s not good to determine you want to do live events, or offer an online training course, if you don’t understand how this matches your “vision big picture”. All lines must take you to the “Vision of the Great Description”.
Run – Now you know what you will offer and when, it’s time to practice the plan. One thing I do in my business is “engineering back”. I always start with the end date in mind and then work backwards. For example, if I offer a 4-part direct training class on a certain date, what I need to do to promote the training class, and when. Much easier to plan promotions if I work withdraw from the start date of class. That way, I can see if I will leave enough time for promotion or if I need to adjust something in a certain way.