Hints & Tips Blog
Do you have a clear vision? And does it translate into your business strategy and plans?
This is often the first question I ask a new client. It determines the company’s direction, it focuses the actions and forms the basis for alignment within the business.
Most businesses I have worked with have some objectives. It is usually labelled the “business plan” with some key figures included or a “road map” covering their key objectives which focus on strengthening the performance of the company and delivering growth. These are useful, but too often they do not shape the everyday activity and behaviour of the business.
So how can you go about making that change?
The good news is that it is not difficult, but it does require you to approach it in a different way. Break it down into smaller elements by following our 3-step process:
The most successful businesses start with developing their vision. The “vision” is what you want your business to be, your long-term goals. It provides a template for behaviour; for decision making; it fosters employee “buy in” and helps to connect with customers.
Ideally, you want it to be future focused, purpose driven, challenging, inspiring and ultimately it shapes strategy – so ask yourself what’s your vision?
Once you have considered this, you need to be able to translate it into your business strategy and ultimately your business plan. So how can you achieve this?
A good place to start is by creating some key objectives based around your longer-term goals. Where possible, make these quantifiable. Once you have them, try to prioritise these objectives and be realistic; you cannot achieve everything at once. It is important to also think about what resources are likely to be required to achieve them and what decisions need to be made to achieve the objectives.
During this stage it is important to get the input of other important stakeholders in the business; you want them to feel it is their strategy too.
Re-visit your business plan. You should now have some clear long-term goals that are aligned to your vision. There is no “right or wrong” template for a business plan. What is important however, is that it works for you, but there are some important areas that need to be included:
- An overview of business – and critically, what makes you different?
- Market analysis – where are the opportunities?
- What are your product and services?
- The sales plan – focus here on opportunities and implementation
- Marketing and how it supports the sales plan
- Operational activities – resource requirements/capital requirements
- The people plan – structure & culture
- The financials
I’ve seen that by following these steps businesses have been able to re-energise themselves, re-engage with employees and improve their performance.