Have you created your strategic business plan for the New Year?

One of the most important business decisions any small business owner can make for the new year is to develop a strategic business plan.

Why is a new year strategic business plan important? It helps entrepreneurs create action for achieving objectives. As a business owner, it is critical to note that goal-setting is more than writing a few good ideas.

Businesses are propelled by outcomes, and a new calendar provides you with an opportunity to organize, set new objectives and strategize to accomplish goals in all aspects of business- from finance to customer engagement, capacity and operations.

In this article, we discuss some important points of a strategic business plan and how to implement one.

Differentiating a strategic plan from a regular business plan

The key difference between a strategic plan and a business plan is that the former displays the final product or expected outcome. It creates action for completing final objectives such as revenue growth, and improved return on investment.

Strategic plans also facilitate decision-making and encourages alignment. Businesses normally develop a strategic plan that is revaluated from time to time to monitor organisational growth and progress. Take advice from existing entrepreneurs on planning, applying their advice on an individual basis.

The first steps for developing a strategic business plan

A well-thought out strategic plan begins with an organisation’s overall assessment. This can be done using a simple SWOT analysis. SWOT is an acronym for the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in your business. After a SWOT analysis, you can start creating the foundation for the strategic plan before proceeding to other aspects such as the mission, vision, values and objectives.

New year resolutions to help you set better goals for your strategic plan

Setting better goals starts by creating a system for accountability. This tells you how to evaluate your progress along the way, so one of your new year resolutions should be good business accountability. Schedule progress check-ups and appoint a member of the team to champion monitoring activities.

Be deliberate about your objectives, because they will make you work proactively instead of reacting to occurrences. This multiplies your chances for success.

How to avoid mid-year burn-outs in your goal-setting strategy

If you are a sports enthusiast, you will know that players often start off sharp and active at the beginning of the season, and soon peter down mid-season because of fatigue. The same thing happens in business. In fact, studies have revealed that only 8% of people out set goals at the beginning of a new year actually achieve them.

To ensure you don’t fall behind on your objectives, identify key performance indices (KPIs) early. Measure each index regularly and make yourself (or specific team members) accountable for the outcome.

As a boost, it is effective to introduce rewards or incentives as part of the goal-setting process. This way, everybody involved will be motivated.

Don’t leave goal-setting decisions to the new year alone, it should be an ongoing process. Plan specific milestones for your business throughout the year and the result will be evident in sales and revenue growth.