NCET explores business and technology
By Estella Hunt
Strategic planning gets more attention with business owners and entrepreneurs than writing a business plan. Business plans tend to initiate thoughts of spending many hours of conducting research and taking you away from running your business. How many times have you heard people say, “Why write a business plan when it will change before it’s completed? It’s not a good use of my time.”
Whereas developing a strategic plan and its strategic initiatives can evoke action and opportunity. A strategic plan is a framework for you to communicate with your staff, customers, vendors, and partners the long-term vision for growth. This framework allows everyone to participate in implementing strategic initiatives that are directly related to their role in your company.
If your strategic plan for growth is up and to the right, you must navigate this trajectory as you market your products/services, hire more staff, and scale your business. These factors along with others will help create the value you want now to achieve the long-term vision for growth. Here are a few tips to consider as you and your team develop and implement your company’s strategic plan.
Tip #1 – ASSESS
As you define your action plan, timing is of the essence as you implement your strategic initiatives. Your team must act swiftly to implement your initiatives and to assess how your company performance will be tracked. How soon will you train new hires as sales double or triple? Is it more important to track revenue per employee or customer acquisition cost?
Operationally, what is your burden rate and how will it impact the acquisition of resources?
Tip #2 – ADJUST
In addition to timing, your money matters. Financial planning and fiscal responsibility is crucial to knowing when to proceed as planned and when to adjust. With a keen eye for the details, you can monitor your budget against actuals. Are your marketing campaigns costing you more than expected? Since it “takes money to make money”, you want to continue paying for efforts that provide the best possible outcome for revenue growth and market share. Focus on activities that moves sales up and to the right.
Tip #3 – ACT
Once you are clear with your strategic plan’s timing and money, you must mobilize your entire team to execute your initiatives. It is important that everyone recognizes the ramifications of individual and collective actions. Are you holding meetings that include cross functional team members? Is there a platform for you and your team to celebrate successes and to learn from failures?
According to a quote from Sun Tzu, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Let’s optimize your team’s time and your company’s money to orchestrate a strategic plan that provides outperforming growth.
Estella Hunt is a Managing Director of Pivot Partners and NCET’s VP of Analytics. NCET is a member-supported non-profit that produces networking events to help individuals and businesses explore and use technology. This column first appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal.