Today there are a number of business systems, tools and books to help small and mid-size businesses execute on their business strategy and reach their long and short-term goals. This is fantastic for small and mid-market companies because it really is taking the mystery out of planning and puts the focus on getting important things done to move their company forward. This leads to a continual planning process. How many of us were at these once-a-year sugar-buzz “retreat” meetings with great discussion and intentions, only to have the deliverable a long report that little would happen until the next retreat?
Today if you’re just getting started in strategic planning or if your company needs a change, there are a few sources I would recommend:
- Tracking Action is a great system based on a one-page business plan concept and integrates many of the concepts of two very popular systems
- Entrepreneurial Operating Systems (EOS) “Get a Grip” is a good read on this system and
- “The 4 disciplines of Execution”. Companies can either do these themselves or have a consultant that specializes in one or more of the disciplines help the company through the process.
The common key components of effective planning I’ve observed within these systems and with some of the best business consultants are these 7 steps:
- Establish vision for the business.
- Articulate and determine differentiators in your people and business.
- Assign leadership.
- Establish most important goals for long-term success, then work your way back to the actions or leading measures that will help you get there.
- Establish a process for individuals and teams to spend time working on a small number of goals that will have most impact in the business.
- Implement a process to allow for consistent management team interaction to monitor and adapt and hold each other accountable for progress toward goals and milestones.
- Establish a scoring system that tracks progress on operational, financial, sales and marketing goals and outcomes.
We’re always available to discuss any thoughts or questions you may have. Happy planning!!