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Drawing up a strategic business plan

Questions you should ask yourself when drawing up a strategic plan.

Is your product or service still a must for consumers when there is a need for people to cut back?

For example, when budgets are tight people may still eat out with their family but may stay away from the higher end restaurants.  Also for entertainment they may forgo the expensive country club and opt for less expensive entertainment and sport.  How will your business fair in a down economy?

What makes you different or better than your competition?

How can you make your company stand out above the rest?   Think of it this way, if your competition had the same product, same knowledge and same price, why should the client work with you?  It is important, especially in a difficult economy for your company to stand out.  Think “outside the box” of the norm.  What makes your business unique so it will be noticeable and memorable, in a good way of course.

Assure you are running efficiently.

When things are going really well, some companies have a tendency to be more lenient with budgeting and other business guidelines. When things get tight they can be forced to re-assess how they have been managing the business. Instead of waiting for that to happen, successful businesses streamline operations, put better systems and business guidelines in place and run a more efficient and effective business on an ongoing basis and not just when it is required.  So ask yourself, what systems or strategies should be included to assure the business is running not only efficiently but also effectively on an ongoing basis?

Time frame your plan should cover.

Your plan should cover both short and long-term goals.   For the short term goals (1-3 years) complete a very detailed outline of exactly what is to be completed, by whom and when. For the longer term goals state a clear vision for the future.  Where “will the business be in 5-10 years regarding:  Gross revenue, Net revenue, Number of employees, Products and Services offered, Physical location of the business, Employee benefits, All systems needed to run the business efficiently and effectively.


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