If you’re a new business, you might have a lot of moving pieces that you need to put together, but the most important part is to start with developing a strategic development plan. It’s the foundation of your business. As an Executive Coach, I’ve helped a lot of new businesses develop their strategic plan through my mentorship experiences with WeBC (Women’s Enterprise Centre), entrepreneurship@UBC, The Forum & Women In Leadership Foundation.
What is strategic development?
Strategic development requires planning, researching, monitoring, and assessing the important functions of an organization to meet your business objectives - essentially how your company will achieve its sustainable growth.
With a detailed plan that has data, measurable objectives, vision, and mission, not only does it set a tone and direction, it allows your employees to work towards a unified goal. You should always monitor and review your strategic plan to ensure that it aligns with your business needs.
Why should I develop a business strategy?
You should constantly stay on top of new market trends so as to be more competitive. With your business strategy, it’s like your success blueprint and GPS. A clearly defined strategy allows you to examine the current state of your business, find growth opportunities, and set clear directions that lead to your desired destination.
Here are the 5 essential steps to your strategic development plan
1. Assess your current business situation
Look at your current processes, mission, and goals. This might sound easy, but I’ve seen most organizations identify where they WANT TO BE versus where they ACTUALLY ARE. If you want an accurate idea of where your company is at, conduct surveys and audits both internally and externally.
2. Identify the key aspects of your business
Gather information and data that is relevant to where you want your organization to be. It will help to define your mission and vision. Using the facts that your team has gathered, determine what items need immediate attention, and the necessary priorities to focus on to help your company grow. Make sure to identify any necessary issues that may arise along the way.
3. Create a well defined plan
Using the research that your team has done, look at your business’s current state, define business priorities, and objectives. Scope out your current resources and see how they can achieve those targets your organization has set out.
4. Implement a strategy
Your organization needs to use all that previous work from steps 1-3 to officially put it into practice. A plan is only as successful as its execution. Make sure that employees in the organization are clear about their responsibilities and roles.
5. Evaluate your strategy
The actions that your company takes needs to align with its plans. If it's not, take corrective steps to make sure that they do align. On top of this, there needs to be regularly scheduled reviews of the processes and performance measurements to make sure that the plan is working optimally.
Having a strategic process in place is a necessity. Being able to clearly see what's working, what needs changing, and creating a detailed plan to make it a reality is what separates you from your competitors, and gets you to the next stage in your organizational milestone.
If you've already started your business, check out our blog to learn the 4 elements your business needs to have to succeed.
If you want to learn more tips about how to accelerate your business growth, check out my roadmap for success goal planning workbook here.