With Christmas not too far away and – dare I say – your new financial year then looming; it is important that you take time to ‘come up for air’ and consider planning requirements for the year ahead.
In a relative older blog – “Business Planning – Unplugged” I have gone into a fair amount of detail about business planning; the rationale, process, template, etc. So if you don’t have a plan, please have a gander at this blog.
For those of you that work with an annual plan, supported with associated budgets – but have not recently undertaken a strategic review – I suggest that as we move closer towards Christmas it will be beneficial to ‘dust down your current plan’ and take a “good look in the mirror”. And if you don’t have a Growth Plan or Business Plan, and it is all ‘in your head’ the first component of my 12 Week Growthology program will be a great platorm to start with.
The first component of this 12 week program helps you work through a review across your business model, to identify “focus areas” that need to be addressed as a priority to develop and deliver your Growth or business plan moving forward. More information on this program, with the various options, are shown in the Services Page of this website.
The aim of the review will be:
- To provide an objective assessment of where your business is at in achieving your short and longer term goals. We look right across the business model, as rarely is there a single silver bullet to grow your business. The Business Model is the fundamental platform for growth … is it real … what needs to be sorted … what can be leveraged … then launch with focus!
- To evaluate how appropriate your current business strategies are, and how well you are positioned to execute them. To be real!
- To provide the information needed to decide whether a change in strategies is necessary and what changes should be made.
- To identify the key “Focus Areas” that need priority attention to knock over those challenges and gain real momentum.
The review digs into a number of areas, including:
- The current/actual direction of the business, compared to what has been proposed in any prior plan (i.e. let’s look at fact as against fiction!).
- How well the company is internally aligned to deliver on goals
- Key strengths to leverage, and weaknesses/risks that need to be plugged – and how viable and relevant are your current strategies, considering external market, competitor and financial realities.
- Any strategic risks that may jeopardize your stated goals: e.g. decline in demand for your core product or service; a key person departing to a competitor; un-protected I.P.
- Any need for resource adjustment: have you adequate expertise; are the ‘right people in the right chairs’; have you sufficient funding lines, etc.
- Your product/service offering.
- Your market selection.
- Your distribution model.
- Your sales & marketing approach and effectiveness.
- Your wider capabilities and capacity to build and sustain growth.
So pull out your calendar and consider when your 2017/18 Plan and budget needs to be in place, ‘owned’ by the wider team, and ready to roll out with vigor.
Think about running the business model review component of the 12 Week Growthology program before Christmas with your team.
Have a look at Services Page on this site for information on the 12 week program. The initial Business Model component is at a very modest cost and from there you have an extremely good insight on what is needed next!
You can then close for the Christmas break with a number of the hard questions asked and the thought processes widened.
Fresh from the break, you can then pull together the team in the New Year to review the findings. With a solid platform, you will be able to sensibly brainstorm and invigorate; adjust your operations; and capture a realistic 2017/18 Plan.
While I am urging a strategic review over the next month or two as a basis for developing your 2017/18 plan, clearly the strategic review is an ongoing process, and one that needs to be visited regularly. Particularly for a small business, such reviews can mean the difference between a road map that has been updated for success, or a drift into financial struggles caused by a poorly thought-out or dated plan that doesn’t reflect changing market or internal conditions!
- The eBook – Your 100+ Checklist with Key considerations to Grow your Business in the Subscribers Corner page on the website will provide useful ‘food for thought’:
Last modified: October 26, 2017