The value of Strategic planning and coaching for small businesses
Through strategic planning, you can evaluate and choose how you will pursue your goals.
Planning may be uncomfortable but necessary
Small businesses are the economy’s lifeblood, yet many owners struggle to make their businesses thrive. Sometimes this comes from being immersed in the operation of the business. For your small business to succeed, you need to have a clear vision and a strategy. This means making intelligent decisions about where you want to take your organization and creating a roadmap for how you’re going to get there by taking a “big picture” perspective. Planning becomes the guide that leads you to your business (and possibly personal) goals. Creating a plan is all about choosing which strategies or actions to pursue and which ones not to.
When you create or refine your business plan, make sure that all aspects of how your operation should evolve are taken into account. Your small business can thrive even in the most competitive markets. This process can be perceived as complicated or unnecessary. With the right approach, you can incorporate planning and strategy into running your business. Adding to this process, strategic coaching can help you stay focused on that path that leads to your goals and not give up!
This article will explore the benefits of planning and coaching for small businesses and how you can get started today.
Strategic Planning for small businesses
You may have heard Eisenhower’s quote: “Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” This process is the key to success, even if you realize you need to stray from that plan during execution. A robust plan should include specific, measurable goals and activities, with clear responsible parties and defined timelines.
Now, how do you get there? How detailed should your plan for your small business be? It all depends on the type of business, size, team and other variables. I recommend considering a few basics:
• Connect with your company vision, mission and values.
• Define the timeline. Is this an annual, quarterly or monthly plan?
• Establish a theme; what is the most important thing that this plan is out to achieve?
• Consider all aspects of your business; use a holistic framework in your approach.
• Define goals, activities, accountability and milestones/ deadlines.
• Identify skills or external support to make those goals happen.
• Design mechanisms to hold yourself (or your team) accountable, make it visual, review at set intervals…
Every quarter I get my clients and the business community together for a day of planning. As a group, we walk through some basic concepts and then define where we want our businesses to be in 90 days and the step-by-step plan that gets us there. It’s a day of education, strategy and community building. We use several frameworks to consider all aspects of our business, such as Vision, Financials, Delivery, Marketing, Sales, Systems and Team.
Business Coaching as a driver of execution
Once you have built a realistic plan, there are many benefits to having an expert coach in your corner. They can give you a fresh perspective that only comes from outside input, offer tips for staying focused even when other priorities seem more pressing, and celebrate small successes along the way! The right coach can help you manage your time and resources more effectively to grow your business by defining focus and holding you accountable. They can help you get back on course if things have gone off-track or provide guidance when there’s no clear path forward.
Plan, execute and celebrate your successes along the way!
Are you a small business owner looking to take your business to the next level? With the help of a coach, you can create a plan that is tailored specifically for your business and its unique needs. Through that process, you will be able to see the forest for the trees, defining where and how you need to focus ON your business.
Now that you know what coaching and planning can do for your small business, it’s time to take the next step! By taking this proactive approach, you can ensure that your business is on track for success.