Our business card carries the tag line, “Strategic Strategizers”, as a reflection of our motto: “Don’t Just Plan, Strategize.”
You’ve got to plan strategically because, of the three levels of planning, strategic planning is most closely related to performance. This is true in life, not just in business.
In a major scientific study of more than 1000 small business owners, Orser found the presence of a strategic plan correlates directly with performance. In this study, Orser measured “performance” by changes in growth revenues of businesses. Moreover, Orser found the use of a written plan (especially a strategic plan) to be a major factor in the prospects of small business growth. (Orser, 2000)
Do you have a strategic plan … is it in writing?
The other two levels of planning–business planning and operational planning—are insufficient to ensure business longevity and prosperity. There are major differences between business planning (aka “a business plan”) and strategic planning. In particular, strategic planning is focused on the destination of the business–where is the business going?
Compare these two approaches to a person planning a trip. If you don’t know where you’re going, what good does it do to start making travel plans? What, are you going to create a plan to head off to … nowhere?
Another important thing about strategic planning is that, for it to be effective, it has to be formal. Formalized strategic planning is a written, long-range plan covering topics such as:
• Determining major outside interests focused on the organization
• Expectation of inside interest
• Information about past, current, and future performance
• Environmental analysis
• A determination of strengths and weakness
Honestly, I just don’t get why any business owner would fail to act when it comes to making a formal strategic plan. Not only that, I don’t get why any business owner serious about succeeding in their chosen field or industry would fail to get help from professional financial and business advisors in creating a formal strategic plan.
If you want to go to Italy, you go to an experienced travel agent who will help create a great travel itinerary so you’ll have the best trip possible. If your car is performing poorly, you go to a trained and experienced mechanic – someone who has worked on many cars successfully. If you want to make sure your body, teeth, or eyes are in good health, you get help from a trained medical professional.
The bottom line is this: If you don’t have a strategic plan, you don’t really know where you’re going or how you’re going to get there. Chances are, if you fail to get advice from an external source (financial and business advisors) with more experience and knowledge than you have, your strategic plan (if you do create one) will most likely be limited in scope and longevity. Whatever actions you then take without a great strategic plan guiding the way, your performance and effectiveness will be equally limited.
As a business owner, for peak performance and the greatest opportunities for success, you need a formal strategic plan. For the best strategic plan, go to a trained and experienced financial and business advisor.
We have more than thirty years experience in business and finance, we have started 26 businesses, we’ve even started a commercial bank that went public, and we have worked with literally thousands of businesses over the years. We even wrote, “The Loan Book”, a guide used by leading banks to train their own staff and used by businesses to get the funding they need.
Call us right now, today at (707) 524-8130 or (415) 353-5680 and let’s develop a great strategic plan for your business.