As a business owner, you are investing your heart and soul into your business - you want it to grow and succeed. But is the direction you are taking it the right direction? What are short and long terms goals?
If you don’t strategically plan on the regular, you are not alone. A 2018 survey by Constant Contact found 63% of the 1,005 small business owners surveyed in the U.S. only plan strategically for a year or less!
A strategic plan allows you to determine where you want your business in the future.
In this article, we list some key elements that you should include your strategic plan:
1) Your company’s vision, mission, and values
People, particularly solopreneurs that are crafting their strategic plan for the first time may get the vision, mission, and values confused.
A vision: A statement that describes what your company looks like in an ideal world, e.g., “Our vision is to create a net carbon zero world”.
A mission: A statement that includes details and actions, e.g.,“Our mission is to create a wide range of sustainable e-products”
Company values: behaviours that define your company.
Founders often prioritize the business day-to-day operations, and hence, they may deprioritize crafting the vision, mission, and company values. However, the vision, mission, and values are the WHY you are doing this and WHO you are.
We love the quote from the late Tony Hsieh about company values:
“Your personal core values define who you are, and a company core values ultimately define each company’s character and brand.”
Your company vision, mission and values are what make your company unique and they are important to create early on (see our previous article on why startups should create their company values early on).
Resources: Your mission and vision will be personal to you and dependent on your industry, but your company values may be similar to other companies. If you need some help getting your creative juices flowing when coming up with values, check out this blog.
2) Your goals and objectives
How can know you are achieving your goals if you don’t have any? Short term and long term goals should be created to help drive your business forward. There is often confusion between goals and objectives.
A goal: a description of a destination
An objective: a measure of the progress that is needed to get to the destination/
Each goal in the strategic plan will in turn require a number of objectives to be successfully achieved.
Example Goal: Membership base of 5000 people Objectives: - Increase membership by 25% by December 2022 - Gain 20 new members over one month - Reduce membership loss in 20-30 year old demographic
An important principle in formulating objectives is that they should be SMART, that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. Using words like increase, drive, attain, own, and reduce are often used in objectives.
All companies need to come up with goals and objectives. It will help the company stay accountable.
3) Strategies, actions and performance measures
Actions plans are the ‘how’ you will achieve your goals and objectives and performance measures are the scorecards. They tell you how well you are doing in achieving those goals and objectives. These are key; companies need to be tracking their success in their strategies and actions via metrics; this allows companies to re-adjust/ adapt when metrics are being missed.
If you are looking to develop your strategic plan, contact iota consultants; our team of business strategic consultants want to help you create the best strategic plan! We can also provide a template for you. Feel free to reach out!