Business is marathon not a sprint. It too takes planning. If you’re not planning for the new year, then you better believe that your competitors are. Here are three solutions to get you going before it’s too late.
Nobody thinks 2017 is going to be an easy year. Surprisingly a good many companies still don’t have a formal strategic plan. They haven’t even scheduled a year start meeting to create their strategic plan. Does your company just manage for the current quarter with little consideration for three to five year objectives or even a one-year plan? Sadly, as the executives of these companies try to navigate uncertain times, they will wonder about the big 4 “WHYS”:
- WHY aren’t we hitting our goals?
- WHY aren’t we all on the same page?
- WHY can’t our people execute without having to ask questions at every turn?
- WHY aren’t we more prepared?
The answer is simple – procrastination.
That sounds harsh but those of you regularly reading my posts and other peoples you will have seen plenty of content about the value of long term strategy. You have heard experts promote the benefits of long term strategic planning. Many of you know other successful companies who plan, execute and deliver consistently. So there is little question that you are just putting off what you know must be done. But perhaps there are solid reasons for your procrastination. Let me identify and resolve some of them for you.
- Complacency – Avoid the Doom Loop
Maybe things are going well for you. Or at least they seem good enough. I am sure that’s exactly what your competitors are thinking too and none of them are developing their strategy on how to steal your customers and gain market share. Yer right! Keep telling yourself that and soon you’ll find out the hard way that your business is vulnerable to others who strategically plan and become more profitable than you. This why many businesses fall into the “Doom Loop”. Why be lazy? Taking a long-view approach in your business will insure you are ready for the next disruptor in your industry, remain competitive and can even look forward to a comfortable retirement!
- Confusion – Do you know where you want to be?
Perhaps you want to execute a strategic plan for the company, but can’t focus because you aren’t really clear about where you personally want to be in life. Perhaps you spend too much time thinking about what you want to DO in your life, and not enough about who you want to BE. In fact, many companies miss their mark because their management team doesn’t focus enough on individual objectives beyond the company’s goals. If your people are not clear on who they want to be and what motivates them to contribute, the results will suffer and you will likely wander off course. But this is resolvable. Ask everyone “Who are we as a company and where do you see your role in five years?” See if their answers align with your perceptions. Taking time to consider your own future is a good start and better still, prepare you to lead strategic talks for your executives and your company.
- Priority – Does your business run you?
So many executives are constantly battling with competing priorities. Remember the saying: “when you are up to your rear end in alligators it’s hard to remember that your primary directive is to drain the swamp.” It’s very difficult to make the transition from working IN the business to working ON the business. But one thing is for sure. If you don’t start prioritising strategic planning, you will forever be letting the business run you. The sooner you make your strategy and alignment a priority, the sooner you’ll achieve goals effectively and create efficiencies that will free up time and resources for you and your company.
Your First 3 Steps:
- Set a date for planning; perhaps a 2-day retreat. If you don’t do it now, you’ll forget. Once the date is set you can work out all the other details.
- Hire a facilitator or a mentor. For a successful retreat, you need methodology and objectivity. A good facilitator can provide both of these things and is well worth the money.
- Engage your team. Email them this article right now. That way you’ll demonstrate your commitment to strategic planning as a priority and get the conversation started. Share the pressure of accountability and you are assured of getting a long-term strategic plan in place, fast.
Gain the Competitive Edge. Don’t Delay Act Today!
If you want help to facilitate, prepare and implement your future Business and Marketing Plans, ask us. Interested? Call Laurie on 07973 361 994 or email LB@theBSP.co.uk. or complete the Enquiry Form: