Preparing a 2022 strategic plan
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on what your business has achieved over the last year, whilst also making plans for the year ahead. This can be achieved with a strategic plan and we encourage all businesses to consider taking time to prepare one for 2022.
It is easier to get to your destination with a plan. If you have a vision of what you want your business to look like when it is “complete” then you are in a position to drive your business towards the vision and you can monitor how you are doing as you go along.
A plan looks at everything business could do and narrows it down to the activities it is actually good at doing. A strategic plan also helps you determine where to spend your time, resources and money.
Steps to forming a strategic plan
- Take time to review your own personal objectives – the business is there to provide you with what you want from life, do not forget this.
- Look at where your business is now, including your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This will give you a clear understanding of your position in the marketplace, the competition, your systems and the way you do things. As well as what you are good at and what you are not! If you do not already have a clear mission and vision statement, as well as core values for your business, this is a good opportunity to create them.
- Focus on where you want the business to be in 3-5 years, or what you want your business to look like when it is running profitably and successfully. Then you can determine your priorities and the big issues that you need to focus on – this is the strategic plan!
- Write down the actions you need to take to achieve your vision. Monitor how you are doing each month and what actions have been completed and what needs to be done to keep you moving towards your plan. SMART goals are useful to set a time frame and identify any resources needed to achieve your goals. You can also set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to measure your success.
- Allocate responsibility for taking the actions. Although the business owner is ultimately responsible for overseeing the plan, it’s impossible to do everything yourself! Ensure your team (and any other stakeholders) understand the plan and the role they play in achieving the goals.
- Review and adjust your regular activities to keep you on track. Set time aside on a quarterly basis to review which KPIs you and your team have met, and adapt as required. At the end of the year you can then re-evaluate your strategic plan and revise for the following year!