Meadow CreekNews

Strategic Planning in a Small Business

Filed under Business Management, Small Business, Venture Capital and Start Ups on December 3, 2008

The strategic plan is a vision and roadmap to future success only to the extent that it is:

  • Founded upon a rational vision.
  • Impediments to the goal are anticipated and dealt with.
  • The plan is flexible enough to respond to a changing environment.
  • The organization responsible for making it happen knows the plan, believes in the plan and is motivated to make it happen.

The alignment of these fundamental requirements seldom happens. To a very real extent, that is what separates successful companies from those that are not so successful. Dumb luck occurs with surprising frequency, however, a well thought out plan coupled with effective management and implementation has a far greater chance of success.

While a sound methodology is imperative to construct a good plan, nothing will compensate for the lack of good business judgment and an engaged organization. This is not to say that Strategic Planning is a democratic process requiring the involvement of many layers of the organization. Quite to the contrary, that is a recipe for failure. Management must take responsibility for the plan and draw from the best and brightest of the organization at any level to construct it.

With a management team or possibly just the owner in some organizations, committed to creating a strategic plan one of the first decisions to be made is to go it alone or use a consultant as a facilitator in the process. In large organizations, this is often not necessary. Small and medium businesses have often never created a strategic plan and are starting from scratch. Some or all of the components of developing a sound plan may be absent:

A process or methodology for developing a plan.
Individual(s) capable of separating themselves from day to day business issues and look at the business in the context of a longer time frame.
Individual(s) with business experience to recognize common issues and draw from similar situations to add a broader perspective to the process.
Individual(s) capable of translating high level plans into action/implementation plans and financial scenarios.
A neutral party that can draw out thoughts of all involved, keep a group focused and committed to an objective.
A party that can help communicate the plan and sometimes legitimate a plan to a skeptical organization.

Call Humerlis today for a free initial consultation. We can give you an assessment of our ability to help you through the process and what the level of effort may be.

Richard Gabel

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