It’s hard to believe it’s September, school is back in session, we are watching football on TV again, and there’s even a snowflake or two falling today in Red Lodge. It’s also time to begin thinking about where your business is at, your successes, your shortcomings, and how you’re going to grow your business in 2017.
I recently read an article by Michael Gerber the author of E-myth stating that more businesses will close in this calendar year than will open. Why do so many businesses continue to close? Very simply, it is because they fail to go thru a self-realization of where they are and create a written business plan on how to get to where they want to go.
Did you know that, mathematically, if you improve your revenue by 2% per month, you will more than double your business in 3 years? The question becomes how? It doesn’t happen by happenstance or dumb luck, it happens with a well thought out strategy and business plan to create sustainable growth for your business. The value of a strategic business plan then, is to create the “how to” strategies, initiatives and resourcing to get there.
To create a foundation for this strategic plan there are important questions that need to be answered.
What do you stand for? What is the value you bring to your current customers and why would potential customers purchase from you. The bottom line is, your business will only be successful if you deliver a product or service that solves someone’s problem, provides them something they need, something they don’t have or think they should have, and makes them feel good about him or herself in the process. What is your value proposition and can you and your team communicate it in 90 seconds or less?
Who do you serve? Do you truly know your customer(s)? Who purchases your goods or services most frequently, who purchases them occasionally and why is there a difference? Distance, social economics, age, lifestyle? These are all important questions to wrap your brain around in order to increase what you sell to your various customer segments.
What is your competitors plan to win? Knowing your competitors strengths and weaknesses will help you build strategies to be sure your customers are not lured away by the competition and also how you might lure your competitors customers to you.
Who’s on Board? Do you have the right people to execute your plan, have you involved them in the planning process, do you understand their goals? These are all important questions that must be taken into account to be sure you have a team of people behind you to get the real work done. Ultimately communicating your business plan to them must first involve them in your planning process. Having them help you create your SWOT analysis is a great place to start.
Are your goals SMART? There are no unrealistic goals, there are just unrealistic timeframes. If you don’t have goals how do you know where you’re going and more importantly how do you know if you got there? Having a SMART set of goals that are understood by your team will go along way to driving the success of your business. These goals should be, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.
Business planning is an investment in time, hard work, and quite possibly a commitment from you to change how you may see your business and do things differently in order to move your business forward again. If you’re not getting the results you desire, now is the time to implement change.
Having a well thought out and organized approach will allow you to create a plan that is realistic, understood, and easily implemented with your team. Beartooth Business Consulting will bring that sensible approach to your planning process, whether it’s a one year, three year or five year plan. Our role is to be sure all the right questions are asked, help you research the ones that aren’t easily answered, identify your business’s strengths and weaknesses, and identify the right strategies for your business that will allow you to grow. We will also work with you and your team to be sure the plan is properly implemented and help you measure it’s success.