Strategic Planning

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10 Strategic Planning Mistakes CEOs Make | Extraordinary Business

There is no doubt CEOs have more on their plate than anyone else in the company; however, passionate and dedicated leaders always keep strategic planning a top priority. It is the lifeblood of any organization that needs to propel into the future. Let us go over 10 strategic planning pitfalls CEOs are susceptible to making.

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Plan for Business Growth | Extraordinary Business

Business Growth planning
When your business grows quickly, things don’t “naturally fall into place” like you might hope or think.  Many businesses actually go out of business as a result of growing too fast and not having the infrastructure to support it.  The way to avoid some (and I do mean some) of the surprises that go along with business growth is to have modeling and a process that will help you see and address some of the obstacles.
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Value in Strategic Planning | Extraordinary Business

Strategic Planning
So you have had your business for a number of years and you are successful for all intents and purposes. You have an excellent product, you have an active client base that purchases from you regularly. You know how and where to get new clients and how to keep the ones that you have.  Your team is pretty stable; you have a low turnover rate.
Question is: what is next?
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Value in Strategic Planning | Extraordinary Business

So you have had your business for a number of years and you are successful for all intents and purposes. You have an excellent product, you have an active client base that purchases from you regularly. You know how and where to get new clients and how to keep the ones that you have.  Your team is pretty stable; you have a low turnover rate.

Question is: what is next?

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Missed Opportunities | Extraordinary Business

A business assessment is the basis for short-term change and strategic growthYoung stylish businessman

As a small business owner, you probably have about a million million-dollar ideas floating around in your head. Problem is that while there is no lack of ideas, determining where to invest your time and resources may be an issue. Oftentimes, it is a challenge of opportunity cost: if you invest in one area, you cannot invest somewhere else.
May investors have horror stories about missing opportunities that turned into great opportunities. This article talks about 11 investors who turned down opportunities that would have netted them HUGE returns.
If we only had a crystal ball!!
While these may not be the types of opportunities you would take advantage of, there may be every day opportunities that you and your company are missed out on, sometimes, simply as a result of not knowing. Many business owners get so wrapped up in fighting the daily fires of running the business that sometimes even the basic things get missed.
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Missed Opportunities | Extraordinary Business

A business assessment is the basis for short-term change and strategic growthYoung stylish businessman

As a small business owner, you probably have about a million million-dollar ideas floating around in your head. Problem is that while there is no lack of ideas, determining where to invest your time and resources may be an issue. Oftentimes, it is a challenge of opportunity cost: if you invest in one area, you cannot invest somewhere else.

May investors have horror stories about missing opportunities that turned into great opportunities. This article talks about 11 investors who turned down opportunities that would have netted them HUGE returns.

If we only had a crystal ball!!

While these may not be the types of opportunities you would take advantage of, there may be every day opportunities that you and your company are missed out on, sometimes, simply as a result of not knowing. Many business owners get so wrapped up in fighting the daily fires of running the business that sometimes even the basic things get missed.

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It All Starts With a Boom | Extraordinary Business

Observing trends and planning for change in your industry

Technology in the hands of businessmenWhen looking at a growth strategy for your company, where do you look for direction? Are you looking at your company? Your market? Your industry? Do you know what drives change in consumer spending? What about change in your industry? Where is your industry headed? How do you know?
Observing trends in all three – your company, your market and your industry can help predict where things are going and help you to predict what actions and investments your company will need to make in order to grow and be successful in the future.
If you have been paying attention to trends in the IT industry, one of the latest trends in consumer technology has been wearable tech, from the fitness gear that is becoming somewhat mainstream that tracks your fitness goals, to the more practical watches and headsets, such as Samsung’s Gear lineup, to the tech fringe gloves, glasses, clothing and sport accessories. Additionally, companies are selling components to aid others in the development of unique wearable items to the degree that you may not always know when someone is wearing something.
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It All Starts With a Boom

Observing trends and planning for change in your industry

When looking at a growth strategy for your company, where do you look for direction? Are you looking at your company? Your market? Your industry? Do you know what drives change in consumer spending? What about change in your industry? Where is your industry headed? How do you know?

Observing trends in all three – your company, your market and your industry can help predict where things are going and help you to predict what actions and investments your company will need to make in order to grow and be successful in the future.

If you have been paying attention to trends in the IT industry, one of the latest trends in consumer technology has been wearable tech, from the fitness gear that is becoming somewhat mainstream that tracks your fitness goals, to the more practical watches and headsets, such as Samsung’s Gear lineup, to the tech fringe gloves, glasses, clothing and sport accessories. Additionally, companies are selling components to aid others in the development of unique wearable items to the degree that you may not always know when someone is wearing something.

 [···]

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Grow From Here to Success

How to make sure your business has everything it needs to grow

business futureWhen I was a younger guy, whenever I would get a gadget, while I might have enjoyed it, I always thought about what the toy will be like in the future, perhaps with the same anticipation as many people have about the next generation of mobile technology. One of the things that always bothered me was the question of why things weren’t designed to be used with the next generation of products.

For example, with a computer, you might be able to upgrade the amount of memory, how fast it runs, and swap out different components, but yesterday’s computer probably may not be able to run tomorrow’s software as effectively as tomorrow’s computer will. Yesterday’s computer lacks true forward compatibility.

From a producer perspective, a producer could probably get consumers to believe that there are huge changes in the same old product in a different box and sell it again – every year in some cases. This, of course, is what drives revenue. But I digress…

The Problem

As a business owner, the question begs to be asked: how have you designed your company for the future? I don’t mean – how have you thought about it, or what kind of planning have you done, but rather, what are the actual activities or tactical decisions you have made that will prepare the company as it grows toward the future.

For example, with your accounting system: do you have a formal accounting or financial management process that goes beyond collecting all of your receipts, dumping them in a shoe box along with bank statements and handing them to your bookkeeper each month/quarter/year/whenever you think about it? Do you think that there might be better ways to manage your finances so that you can see how your company is performing at any given time? In doing so, don’t you think it would be easier to hand off financial management as your company grows?

Of course. At the end of the day, it will probably cost you a lot less to keep things organized, help you understand where your cash is going and where you might need to cut back or invest. Poor management is one of the top reasons small businesses fail.

The Solution

  1. Start with your company vision – where you want your company to go. Is it a single location with 100 employees, or multiple locations with offices both domestically and internationally?
  2. Develop a mission – why you do what you do. Your mission will help to dictate how you get to the vision and will keep you and your decision-making on track
  3. Develop a plan to get there – use stages and start very high level, then
  4. Look at the components of your business – sales, marketing, finance, products and services, Human Resources, management and IT – and determine what these will look like at each stage.
  5. Determine what resources will be required to support each function at each level.

Look, for example, at business management – how to manage the business. One of the things that has plagued small businesses is the idea that not all software solutions play well together. So we would end up with an email service that doesn’t communicate with the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, which doesn’t talk to the bookkeeping system, none of which interact well with the marketing system. Ideally, they should all play nicely together so that those using the system don’t have to update five systems manually in order to get an idea of what the big picture looks like!

So in planning for the future, we would want to have a system that either has native integration between the systems (they are all built into one solution), have a tool custom built that will enable all of the systems to work together or use an online service that will do the same.

In any case, when a business is young and has very few contacts and things can be done manually, it doesn’t seem to be a top priority for the business. However, when the business is in a growth stage, it can sometimes be too late or very expensive to make the necessary changes…which can be the case with each component of the business.

So if you are planning on building a business that is extraordinary, think in terms of where your business is going, versus staying completely focused on where it is. Sure – you will need to take one step at a time and not tie up all of your resources in assets that you cannot use. Rather think strategically –  in terms of how the business will operate the most efficiently at each stage and plan for it as you invest and grow.

Rick Meekins is the Managing Consultant at Aepiphanni, the trusted advisor for business leaders who are seeking forward-thinking solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth. Our entrepreneurial multidisciplinary team works with clients to develop differentiating solutions and provide direction focused on lasting, strategic results.  We exist to help our clients CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses.

We would love to hear from you.  Please share your thoughts and comments below. If you are seeking advice on how to grow your business, streamline systems and processes, implement software or overcoming challenges to growth, please contact us, directly or submit a request for a complimentary Coffee & a Consult to learn how we can help you CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD an extraordinary company..

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