Do you know where you are going? As business advisors, we work with a variety of businesses across a number of industries. When we look at these businesses, we find that those who perform best usually have some sort of formal plan, whilst those that struggle, usually have no plan.
We believe that for your business to be a success you need to know where you are going… we can help you develop your roadmap.
Many businesses – large and small – make the mistake of setting themselves goals without going through the process of asking themselves “Why?”.
The development of a sound business roadmap is the result of a strategic planning process.
This is a fancy way of saying that you need to sit down away from the day to day distractions and think about your business, ask yourself questions about what you want from your business and your life, and write down the answers you develop.
Let’s start with something simple. If you cannot answer yes to all of these questions, you need to look again at what you are doing:
- Are your critical business strategies well defined?
- Are they successful?
- Does there seem to be a lack of focus on where the company is headed?
- Does everyone clearly understand the goals for the business?
- Strategically, how will the business achieve those goals?
- Is your current planning horizon longer than one year?
- Are you developing annual business/operating plans with a strategic plan in place?
So own up, did you answer yes to everything?
If you answered “No” to any of the above, then you are part of the 90% of businesses that don’t have a roadmap.
Its quite understandable, after all you have a business to run and don’t have time to plan. Even if you do have a written plan, it is quite possible that it was done purely to impress the bank.
But a business roadmap does not have to be a glossy brochure. It can be a detailed plan of everything the company intends to achieve and how it will get there or a few hand-written pages of goals. Numerous surveys have shown that the act of writing something down make it twice as likely that it will happen.
Deciding what your long-term objectives are is the first step. You should then consider what contribution each area of your business makes toward achieving these objectives. As you so, write down all the ideas and changes you would like to implement and separate them into three lists:
- Short-term goals
- Medium-term goals
- Long-term goals
Now put a time scale to each list. For very new businesses, short-term may mean a month others it could mean a year. Short-term goals are likely to be far more specific than the medium-term or long-term goals.
What do you then do with the plan? Well donít file it. Pin it on the wall or give to every member of your company. Whatever it takes to help get the contents actually done.
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