May 10, 2011
-- A business begins with an idea but in order to advance to the next level, there must be a strategy, how you will get there, what will need to happen and who can you get to help along the way.
It is best to begin the process with where you are now and what you have to work with. Begin by separating the weaknesses, such as non-commitment or bad location from the strengths and then build on those strong points.
With a strong core group, you can begin refining your vision for the company. This will include the purpose of the business, mission statements that will explain to future employees what their job will be within the company. Most importantly a list of goals and how they will be met. This should include both short and long term goals for the company. Knowing where you want to be in five or ten years and having a clear plan will show any skeptics that you are serious about the future.
Once a mission statement is clear and the company’s goals are written down, it is then time to put together a strategic plan, this plan will involve the steps needed to achieve each of the goals stated. Begin with research the area around you, including other businesses that are in the same market, as well as local businesses in general. By learning what makes up the companies you are able to form a plan that will help you face similar issues in the future, as well as knowing right away what customers are looking for in a company such as yours.
When your strategy is in place, it is then broken down into specific steps, so they can be understood by everyone in the company. For each section there may be several goals that will be set, each employee in the area will be expected to work toward those goals in order for the business to be a success. It is important that the employees understand the process, since they are the ones who will carry it out, they may be able to see a problem better than an owner will, since they are working at the plan each day.
No plan is perfect and that is important to keep in mind, as time goes by you will need to access the progress being made and what may need to be changed. With regular evaluation problems that arise can be dealt with quickly and a solution developed without a loss of business. You will always be moving toward your goal, there may be changes to the overall strategy at times, but the result will remain the same.
Robin Trehan, B.A, MIB. MBAebusiness