There's a lot that goes into running a successful business. At the backbone, however, is strategic planning.
As you probably already know, this began when you first created a business plan to pitch to your bank or investors. You had to analyze the market, define your business, come up with a sales strategy, determine your costs, and more.
Being able to react and think on your feet are also good qualities, but if you want your business to thrive, you must always stay a step ahead. This comes down to successful planning.
We want to help. Keep reading for our top tips on how to optimize your strategic planning outcomes.
1. Identify Your Niche and Target Market
You must know your market to create a profitable business in any industry. Just as importantly, you need to understand your target audience.
These are the people whom your marketing efforts are geared towards. They are the consumers for whom your products and/or services were designed.
Start by establishing your niche:
- What does your business excel at amongst your competitors?
- What separates you from the competition?
- What is your specialty?
This niche will help you better determine your ideal customer.
2. Define Your Goals
Successful strategic planning demands direction. Think about it like planning a road trip. You can't figure out how to get anywhere unless you determine where you want to go.
What are your goals for your business? We recommend using the SMART goal method to establish practical, timely objectives.
SMART goals are:
SMART goals are designed to keep you motivated and accountable. They also help you define how you're going to reach your goals, rather than simply highlighting what they are.
3. Keep Everyone on the Same Page
Strategic planning in business requires a team effort. Your staff must be on the same page. This comes down to your leadership skills.
Once you've defined your goals, conduct a staff meeting to outline your objectives to everyone on your team. Be clear about what you expect from each member and what their specific role is.
Additionally, host weekly meetings to check in with your team, ask questions, provide solutions to problems, etc. This is ideal for keeping people on-track and making sure things are running smoothly. Encourage open communication amongst everyone at the meeting.
4. Establish a Marketing Plan
Based on your goals and your budget, you need to devise a marketing plan. To scale any business, you must maximize your brand awareness. How are you going to get the word out to more consumers about your products or services?
There are several methods you can use. Here are what we consider to be the most important marketing avenues:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Social media marketing (paid and organic)
- Email marketing
- Paid advertising (SEM, PPC)
- Content marketing
The stronger your online presence is, the more leads your business will generate. Once you have those leads, it's up to you and your sales team to convert interested consumers into paying customers.
5. Consider Business Coaching Services
One of the most important tips for successful strategic planning is learning when to reach out for help. Whether you've been in business for several years or a handful of weeks, you can always learn more from other people. We recommend looking into business coaching services.
For example, at New Work Revolution, we offer everything from business fast-track workshops and strategic planning facilitation to one-on-one coaching.
6. Create a Board of Advisors
To optimize your outcomes and strategic planning, we also recommend creating a board of advisors for your business. Typically, these are made up of business owners, managers, and other trusted affiliates and friends.
A board of advisors is designed to provide insight from various perspectives, which can be vital for thinking outside the box. Your board members can be other business owners, lawyers, financial advisors, etc.
7. Invest in Team-Building Activities
Your business is only as strong as each and every member of your team. As such, you must invest in your training for your staff. This means productivity training, sales training, and more.
However, your team must also learn how to work together effectively and efficiently. For this, we recommend team-building activities.
These can be work-related team-building activities or activities that are completely irrelevant to your business, like taking your staff to an escape room. Find a way to bring your team closer together and increase their communication skills and ability to work as a unit.
8. Take Advantage of All Your Resources
Being a business owner in the modern world has several perks. One of which is the infinite wealth of information you can find online. Aside from doing research, however, you also have access to free online tools designed for entrepreneurs like you.
You can find free business assessments to help you perfect your strategic planning, employee training programs, blueprints for better businesses, and more. Take advantage of all of these resources.
9. Be Adaptable
Finally, even the most well-researched strategic planning can have speed bumps, detours, and worse. One of the most valuable skills you can learn as a business owner is how to be adaptable.
This attribute will help you adjust to unplanned events, budget shortages, lost team members, and any other problems that might arise. You must be flexible. However, you also need to learn how to remain positive while adjusting to different setbacks.
You won't be any good to your team if you give up hope or lose your motivation every time something doesn't go your way.
Do You Need Help with the Strategic Planning for Your Business?
As you can see, there's a lot that goes into successful strategic planning for your business. Fortunately, as noted above there are infinite online resources to help your company thrive.
Allow us to be one of your resources. Follow the links above to gain access to our free online tools or our coaching services.
And if you have any questions or want to know more about what we have to offer, contact us today. We would love to work with you to develop a strategic planning process to scale your business.