There are some very practical and basic processes required in thinking about starting one’s own business. Among these is the need to determine where you have been and plot a path to where you wish to go and, how you will travel that path.
Strategic Planning is one of those basic processes although a simple Business Plan might suffice. Strategic Planning is simply establishing Goals and Objectives or, I should say, Objectives and Goals. Objectives are broad brush statements whereas, Goals are specific as to how those Objectives will be met and achieved. Goals must be measurable and quantifiable.
As an example, Increasing Sales is a noble Objective. But, how much and by what means are you going to Increase Sales? That process becomes the Goals. See below for an example:
OBJECTIVE: INCREASE SALES
GOAL # 1: Increase sales by 20% this next year.
GOAL # 2 : Register for more Art Fairs. Last year I registered for 8 Art Fairs.
This year I will Register for 3 more Art Fairs.
GOAL # 3: Join a local arts organization to take advantage of opportunities to
network with other artists.
KEEP IT SIMPLE. THERE SHOULD NEVER BE MORE THAN THREE GOALS FOR EACH OBJECTIVE.
The Small Business Administration’s web site, www.sba.gov offers various programs to assist in developing both Business Plans and Strategic Plans.
As the CEO of small, rural hospitals, Strategic Planning was an on-going process that included Board of Directors, Medical Staff, Hospital Staff and the Community that we served. Strategic Planning was and is a very organized process but, we had the resources for a very formal process. YOU DO NOT. You can, however, take time out of your busy schedule to think about where you have been and where you want to go and how you are going to get there. So don’t tell me you don’t have the time to improve your business.
Should you wish to discuss any of this or have any questions about this please contact me. I would be glad to assist you in your efforts.