A business can survive without a strategy, but survival is the most it can hope for. Those that survive for a longer term will always be sub-par in their performance. Without a carefully planned strategy the business may be headed in the strong direction from its very start and consequently, find themselves where they began.
It has been my observation that business owners who run their firms without a well thought out strategy have only created a job for themselves, not a company that can prosper and grow. With a clear strategy that is well planned, carefully implemented and understood by all, a business can greatly improve their chances for success.
Vision: the vision statement is a clear statement about where the owner/management team wants to take the company. It needs to be inspirational but realistic. In our planning sessions we spend a lot of time in developing the company vision statement. It will provide direction and motivation and give the owner a sense of what is needed to be covered in its strategies. One of my favorite vision statements belongs to Disney, “To make people happy”.
Strategy: we can define strategy as the framework within which the choices about the nature and direction of a firm are made.
Arriving at the correct strategies is a process that takes a lot of time and thought. We developed what we call a “Value Based Strategic Focus Plan”. To properly build the necessary growth structure for a business, all aspects of the planning process have to be examined and interwoven into a final action plan. Instant gratification does not exist in the planning process; adequate, stress free time, has to be devoted in order to achieve the best possible results.
Among the many pieces that make up our panning process are: values, history, vision, strengths and weaknesses, objectives, goals and finally strategies. (Yes, there are more pieces than I just listed). The mini-action business plans with an accountability component become the hands-on work book for growth.
I keep coming back to this subject because I still find that less than 10% of the small businesses I have come in contact with are in possession of a completed, working business plan. Unless a small business owner has the intestinal fortitude to develop and implement a proper ( I use the word proper because a “fill in the blanks” business plan, or one that is completed at a mass planning seminar will not help a business reach its goals) business plan, chances for profitable future growth are greatly diminished.
Those who understand Strategy move without delusions and progress without tiring. Hence the saying: “Know the other and know yourself.” Sun TZU
Nick J. Petra CFP at Strategic Duck we can provide the tools but it’s up to you to take advantage of them. www.strategicduck.com contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org