Every business needs a plan
However its amazing how many business owners fail to even do the basics, I mean whats 1 day out of 365 to just sit down and think about what you intend to do for next 200 working days.
Here are some of your excuses..
A small business doesn’t have the management time or resources to invest in days of planning.
Because their top teams usually lead their sales efforts, taking them off the road has an immediate negative impact on revenues.
The payoff of strategic planning is often measured in thousands of dollars rather than hundreds of thousands, so it makes no financial sense to over invest in the effort.
Smaller businesses must continually adjust their strategy so the strategies they develop during a strategic planning session are usually short-lived. They win because they are more nimble, quicker to seize unexpected opportunities, than their larger competitors. Long-term planning can slow them down and kill this advantage.
What fast-growing companies need is strategic thinking, not strategic planning, the practice of hitting every challenge and opportunity strategically.
Here are three things you can do to turn your size into an advantage:
1. Plan in the hallway:
Don’t expect your big ideas to come out of a formal strategy offsite. Instead learn to huddle with your team and–in five minutes–break apart whatever strategic challenge/opportunity you are facing right now. In my book, Out think the Competition, I suggest you rapidly go through five steps (IDEAS): Imagine, Dissect, Expand, Analyze, Sell.
2. Ask (and answer) “Why not?”:
Small companies become big usually because they challenge industry dogmas. CEO and co founder of Urban Outfitters was asked how he built his $600 million business. He said, “Because we knew nothing about retail when we started.” Making choices that are inconsistent with accepted industry logic is the only way to get big quickly. So when you hear yourself think, “This won’t work,” ask “Why not?,” and write down the three reasons the idea won’t work (e.g., it costs too much, customers won’t like it, it’s not technically feasible). Then test whether those three reasons are true, and brainstorm how you can overcome them.
3. Try and adjust:
Big companies make big bets so it makes sense for them to conduct exhaustive analysis before pulling the trigger. You don’t need to. You can’t afford to. Instead, develop a “strategic hypothesis” and test it out making very small bets. Try to sell the idea to a customer before it’s built, look for a supplier, ask a friend who has some expertise in this new area.
If you could knock out a strategic plan in one day…..