From managing employees, to planning for the future, suddenly there are lots of important decisions to make and only one of you to make them! Taking time out of the everyday firefighting to strategically plan will better your chances of success, as well as enlisting management support.
Define your vision
The first thing to think about is your vision for the business. Without a clear goal, how will you know which staff to hire or which new equipment to invest in? Choices like these shape your business so you need to know what you would like your business to look like in one, five or even ten years.
Do you want to double your capacity in the next five years or are you looking to expand your business to multiple locations? Having your vision finalised at the back of your mind means the choices you make each day will be with that vision in mind.
Setting goals is all about understanding how you know that you are on track to achieve your vision.
Try to avoid being too broad with your goals, i.e., avoid statements like “I want to be turning over more money” or “I want the business to grow”. These kind of goals are too vague to get you thinking strategically. They aren’t something you can ever finish and therefore there’s no way to know when you have achieved them and are ready to move on.
Try instead to think about something more specific. For example, “I want to open a new branch in the next three years”. This gives you something achievable and a milestone which you can reach. Being able to tick a goal off the list allows you to move forward, knowing it is in the right direction towards achieving your vision.
A good starting point is to set yourself three goals you want to achieve to make progress towards your vision. Make sure to set deadlines for your goals too, you are far more likely to push to accomplish them if there are timings attached.
Planning your approach
Your approach will outline the steps you need to take to achieve each goal. Thinking about these will clarify what you need to do in the everyday in order to achieve your longer-term goals and eventually your vision.
Plan these out underneath each goal, these steps should create a path to succeeding. For instance, if your goals were to open one more branch in the next three years, you may need to do the following:
- Discuss expansions with a financial advisor in the next six months.
- Save up X amount for initial set up in the next two years.
- Appoint a store manager for the current location in the next two years.
- Look into location and property options in the next two years.
The importance of outside help
Financial planning is key to strategic business management and there is no shame in enlisting outside help. Discussing your ambitions and situation with an advisor will mean they can give you impartial guidance on how best to get there.
Our management support services give you just that, with tailored advice to your sector, your business and you. We can provide you with unbiased information and a plan to get you moving towards your vision. This allows you to make informed decisions based on our years of experience helping other small and medium sized businesses.
Explore our management support services by clicking here.
Be ready for the unexpected
The year 2020 showed us all the importance of planning for the unexpected. Whilst no-one can predict what might happen in the years to come, having a solid financial plan in place which you can fall back on is key. Maybe there are elements of your business which can be cut back on to allow for unforeseen expenses, or an alternative customer base should your primary one reduce their spending.
Thinking about all this in advance and putting in place a management support advisor means that when issues arise (like a global pandemic!) you can stay calm, knowing you not only have a plan in place but someone at the end of the phone to assist you.
Go for it!
Now you have your plan in place, making progress doesn’t seem as daunting as if you just had your vision. You already have in black and white what the first thing you need to do is.
As challenges and decisions arise, you will now be in a better position, with a solid understanding of your business’ financial situation and to make smart decisions which align with your goals. When choices come up like which new candidate to hire or which advertising campaign would work best, you have a clear strategy in mind, rather than making off the cuff decisions. Taking on management support also gives you the safety net of an impartial advisor, so you can get sound advice from an experienced expert in business planning.
If you’d like to take the fist steps towards business success in 2021, get in touch with us by clicking here or calling on 01792 363444.