How to Develop Your Small Business Strategy In Five Stages
Updated: May 14
What’s more likely to deliver results, charging blindly into a new situation and hoping for the best, or gathering as much information as you can and creating a detailed plan that guides your path?
Option one is undoubtedly more exciting, but also far more likely to fail miserably. For businesses looking to forge a brave new future for themselves, leaving the path up to chance is a terrible idea.
Instead, it would be best if you had a business strategy — an action plan that describes where you want to be and details exactly how to get there. Here are five steps you can take to design your own.
Examine the Current State of Your Business
It’s challenging to plan, and it would be best if you had a path forward, if you don’t know where you are. Before you do anything else, you should thoroughly assess the current state of your business.
Examine what’s working and what isn’t, the challenges you’re facing, who your customers are, where you sit in the competitive environment, and what opportunities and threats are out there for you. Look at missed opportunities and try to identify what was the missing link - was its owing to a lack of resources? A lack of skills? Not professionally articulated your position and business proposal?
Develop a Vision Statement and Future Direction
Once you know where you are, you need to develop a rigorous statement of where you want to be, and why you want to get there. A vision statement helps you plot the future direction of your organization by authoritatively stating your future goals, and what you want to achieve in the medium to long-term. Significantly, it isn’t the time where you should concern yourself with how you’ll realize your vision. It’s more important that you inspire stakeholders and explain, in an ideal world, where you see your organization going.
Example vision statements can be found here: on the project manager Website blog
Develop a Mission Statement
Your mission statement should fit cohesively in alignment with your vision statement. The former is more practical than the latter, as it focuses on the present and describes a current picture of the company, challenges it’s looking to help, and why it exists.
You can view a mission statement as the “how” behind your vision statement. It elucidates what the company is doing in the present, and why those actions are essential to the future of the company.
Identify Strategic Objectives
You can think of strategic objectives as intermediate steps on the way toward a full realization of your vision statement. You want to set realistic, achievable goals for each department in your organization that drives everyone in the proper direction. These need to be measurable so that you have an accurate gauge of each department’s progress over time.
Typically, you would identify short term and longer-term strategic goals. It could be a combination of hiring more team members to help you grow your business, or moving new a location, or perhaps growing your business service offering to give you the opportunity to branch out into a different category segment.
You would want to ensure you capture your timescale, a tangible reference (i.e., a number of new hires, or % of sales increase), and have identified the resource accountability for the delivery of those goals.
Draft Tactical Plans and Performance Management
With your overarching goal, and specific, high-level intermediate objectives in place, you’re ready to flesh out your business strategy with tactical plans designed to deliver all the ideas you’ve foreseen for yourself.
It would help if you also had management processes in place to monitor your company’s performance as it executes these plans to make sure you're meeting the deadlines necessary to hit your objectives. These should be firm but flexible so that they can adapt if conditions require.
Ask yourself, what does good look like to your company:
Is it customer referrals?
The size of the order? The number of customer complaints?
The speed to process your accounts receivables
How you treat your suppliers
The number of followers on social media
Once you have clarity on these essential metrics, you will be able to link that with your internal operations management procedures and set your management performance reports.
Ready to Get Started? Help Is Available at Noirwolf
These five steps simplify the process and should help you wrap your head around what’s needed when designing a business strategy, but there’s certainly a lot more to it. Creating an effective strategy requires much soul-searching, and can often benefit from outside, impartial help.
About Noirwolf Consulting
Noirwolf Consulting is a trusted provider of professional business plan writing services and business consulting services for entrepreneurs, startups, and small-midsized businesses in the UK and USA market.
Our business plan development process includes all critical aspects to help you create a successful business plan that is customized to meet your individual needs, whether it is starting your business or looking to secure a bank loan.
Our business plans typically include - company overview, market analysis, competitor research, marketing, and sales approach, operations plan, and a comprehensive financial forecast with projected financial statements. Ideal for bank loans, financing or to support a business manager visa application.
You can see all the information in one place and modify to suit your financing or immigration visa requirements.
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