Rick Meekins is the Managing Partner at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy, an Atlanta, GA based small business consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations.
Strategic planning for your business isn’t simply a matter of getting an idea and putting some steps to get there on a piece of paper. It isn’t just finding ways to increase capacity, add to your product line or open more offices. While many business owners operate from this perspective, this isn’t a sustainable method: it tends to be short sighted, and is easily pushed off track.
Strategic planning can be likened to a sport: not only do you want to win, but you need to have an idea of how to do it. If it is soccer, for instance, you need to know the rules, how to kick, accurately, what the different positions are and how they interact. You must have leadership and a team committed to the same goal of winning, who understand their role or position on the team.
Once the inter-team dynamics are considered, the leadership can begin to look at the league, other teams, the playing field, the weather, the referees, etc.. While it is great to have a team that operates well internally, when the team goes out to play, so to speak, they need to know the playing field and how to defend it. The more they know, the greater chance they have of developing strategies to win.
In a business, in order for your strategic planning to be effective, you must
- be aware of where you are going
- know how you want to get there
- know the organization’s strengths
- know the organization’s weaknesses
- know external opportunities
- know external threats
In other words, SWOT your business. Only with this information should you begin to put some ideas down on paper. Only with this information should you begin to plan for how to accomplish these goals. To get started, find a typical SWOT diagram, here.
At Aepiphanni Business Solutions, we are a Small Business Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners. We specialize in helping you develop strategies for your organization, and are committed to your success. If you have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].