If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. – Lewis Carroll
Let’s face it, your business cannot and will not survive without a strategic business planning. That is a given, but don’t take our word for it! According to the Small Business Administration, only 5% of those of you reading this very blog will survive (or have survived) your first five years of business.
Sounds daunting and ominous when you put it that way does it? The facts do not lie, however, which is why we wanted to bring you this very important blog series on Strategic Business Planning for your small business. This series will cover the three most important elements of this concept, in the following order:
We hope that you enjoy this post and all of those accompanying posts to this series! As always you can obtain more information about our services in Strategic Business Planning by visiting our services tab. Now, let’s get into the blog.
Why Execution Matters
We have covered what a strategic business plan is and how to create one. In this post, we want to discuss how to properly execute your strategic business plan, effortlessly. Before we begin, it is important to understand one key concept and that is the importance of execution. As small business owners, enough cannot be said for properly executing on your business ideas and plans. This is one of the main reasons why so many small business owners fail to meet their deadlines, quotas, and growth plans.
At Priceless Planning we teach small business owners, not theories, but on efforts that we execute in-house and therefore are in an excellent position to teach others. In the two years that we have been in business as a leading consulting firm, we have found that execution is the root cause for the overwhelm that so many small business owners encounter. Many spend countless of hours making various plans for their business, but just as equally, many fail to execute on their plan because they overwhelm the process. Ideally, a small business owner will have not only the sufficient resources but also the sufficient know-how to plan according to what is necessary to execute.
4 Key Execution Elements
It is often said that when things do not go as planned it is because someone missed a step or because the sequence of events wasn’t followed the way it needed to be. There are elements that must be taken into consideration when putting together the right execution strategy for your strategic business plan.
Here are the three we believe to be the most important and the most crucial elements:
- Create Benchmarks – Creating benchmarks is so important because they allow you to understand exactly where you need to be by when. They also outline what you need to do to get there. Think of this step the way you would hiking a summit. As you reach various stop points and overlooks, you feel empowered and achieved! This is precisely the same sentiment you must have when you create benchmarks. It gives you and your team important steps to reach your strategy execution.
- Track Progress – This one seems easy enough, but implementing systems into your strategic plan execution is often times what makes the difference between reaching your goals or falling behind. At Priceless Planning, we cannot get enough of systems and it is often one of the first steps we take when we review new client accounts. Creating systems and processes helps you track your progress and it also promotes growth in various sectors within your organization by allowing you to focus on what matters.
- Review Often – A lot can be said for taking time to review the efforts your organization is attempting to accomplish. This could mean sitting down with your team to discuss progress or simply going over your plans often to ensure success. Taking this important step to review your strategy results on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis is going to keep you from heading down those pesky pitfalls that keep yours from true success.
- Pivot Accordingly – Once you have reviewed your progress and you find that you are not meeting the deadlines set forth by your benchmarks or if you find that the outcomes do not align with the goals you have created, then a pivot much happen. This is where many small business owners get it wrong. You must pivot according to the data review results that you are seeing, not get stuck based on what you perceive to the your “must do.”
When you implement these tour basic key elements into your execution strategy, you will be in a much better position to realize the goals and plans that you have set forth for yourself and your organization. Doing so will also allow you to lay a better foundation for executing your strategic plan.
Now that we have a better definition of what execution means for you, your team, and your organization, it is time to execute on your strategic plan. Taking the five elements we have outlined for your above (to be done in this specific order), and putting it into action is what should come naturally in the strategic process. We have found that by executing today you put yourself and your organization in a much better position to win tomorrow. Initially, you may find that you are not necessarily executing at the pace of the rate that you would like, but you must be diligent and vigilant in your efforts!
We hope you enjoyed this post, that is why we would love to hear back from you! Comment below and tell us what your take on strategic business planning is and ask any questions you may have.