Small business owners are constantly looking for how to conduct simplified strategic planning for small biz. This is because over the years, strategic planning has become a critical cornerstone of any business, from the biggest corporations to small businesses.
Strategic planning helps to identify a business’s competitive advantages, strengths, and weaknesses, set goals for the future, and create plans to reach those goals.
For small businesses with limited resources and staff, the traditional strategic planning process can seem overwhelming and many have difficulty laying out the concepts accurately enough for the business. This is where simplified strategic planning for small businesses comes in.
This type of streamlined approach helps small businesses stay focused on what is important and develop realistic short-term goals that can be achieved within their limited resources.
The Simplified Strategic Planning Approach
Simplified strategic planning is a streamlined approach to traditional strategic planning that can help small businesses define their goals and action plans realistically.
The approach puts more emphasis on brainstorming to develop strategies that are achievable within their resources rather than spending much time on market analysis and detailed planning.
It is also beneficial in providing these smaller businesses, who do not have the time or resources to develop a lengthy strategy document, a structure to help guide their decision-making.
How Can Simplified Strategic Planning Benefit Small Businesses?
For many small businesses, simplified strategic planning can be the key to success. It helps keep small businesses focused on what is important, often developing short-term goals that can be reached within their limited resources.
Simplified strategic planning also provides a concise way for small business owners to think about how their organization should prioritize tasks, allocate resources, and set measurable goals for success.
A cautionary note.
Simplified strategic planning must be conducted as a core leadership team effort. A sole entrepreneur needs to be careful not to develop “tunnel vision”.
Both groups will greatly benefit from the guidance of an experienced consultant to assist them get the work done in a timely manner. The consultant can also assist to develop a road map for how the objectives, strategies and monitoring will be executed.
The 4 Phases of the Simplified Strategic Planning Exercise
At its core, there are four phases:
1. Brainstorm and Assess the Current State
The first step is to brainstorm what the business wants to achieve in the short term and assess its current state of operations and resources.
Assessing the current state helps the business identify areas of strength and weakness, evaluate where they would like to grow and see what strategies they will need to implement to move forward.
Without a good understanding of the current state and its shortfalls, it is difficult to develop a strategic plan that will be successful for any business.
2. Develop a Mission Statement
A mission statement is derived from the vision statement of a company. It acts acts as a guide as to how the company vision will be realized in its operations.
Although it is pretty high level, yet it provides an overarching goal that all other departmental subsidiary goals should help it achieve. It should be concise and inspiring to motivate all those involved with the organization.
As straightforward as this reads, it can be a time consuming exercise as it needs to be well thought out.
3. Set Objectives and Strategies
Objectives should be specific, measurable goals SMART) as this simplifies how each goal will be accomplished. It also provides the opportunity to develop metrics to monitor the progress of the goal and if it is met within the timeline.
This gives small business owners an idea of what they need to accomplish to reach their ultimate mission statement goal.
Strategies should also be developed based on these objectives; these should involve tactics that are both achievable and realistic, given the business’s limited resources.
Again, if you set the objectives and strategies properly, the chances of success increase. if not done correctly, it creates bottlenecks in execution that will constantly have to be corrected before you can move forward.
4. Monitor Progress
The last step of simplified strategic planning is to monitor progress on the objectives and strategies so that adjustments can be made if needed.
Monitoring helps small businesses to ensure they are meeting their objectives in accordance with their strategy timelines. This is critical to evaluating the overall success of the strategic plan
Conclusion – Simplified Strategic Planning
In conclusion, simplified strategic planning is key for helping small businesses set attainable goals and develop actionable plans for success within their limited resources.
These four phases provide a framework for small businesses to brainstorm, assess, set objectives, develop strategies, and monitor progress in a straightforward yet effective way.
As with any business plan, it is a “living plan” that should be frequently referenced during its timeline. In addition, simplified strategic planning helps small businesses become more nimble and responsive (when referenced) in order to capitalize on new opportunities or react when changes occur quickly.
All these benefits make simplified strategic planning an important tool for any small business looking to get ahead of the competition!
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