How to Develop a Strategic Plan for Business Development by @DONNAAMOS
by Donna Amos
A sound strategic plan provides a business’ management the ideal roadmap to align its functional activities to reach the predetermined goals. With such a plan, it’s easy to guide the decision-making process when determining the budget requirements and increase operational efficiency.
Crafting a formidable strategic plan is a colossal task that can take months to accomplish. Further, implementing the plan requires collaboration from every team member to ensure successful execution. Below are a few tips for developing a solopreneur’s strategic plan for business development.
Develop a Mission Statement
It’s easy to plan your journey and reach your destination when you have a clear road map. By starting with the end in mind, you can set your sails and identify the hurdles that you need to circumvent along the way. Once you determine your goals, it’s best to write a mission statement.
A mission statement entails determining the direction you want to take your business. A good example of a mission statement is to become the market leader in real estate in this region:
When crafting the mission statement, it’s important to:
- Keep it short, concise and clear
- Outline the key objective
- Brainstorm about it with managers and employees
- Modify it as many times as possible
Getting everyone on board during the infancy stages is critical as you allow the key stakeholders to contribute. Although the strategic plan is your brainchild, you’ll need every hand on deck when rolling it out.
Develop A Vision Statement
While a mission statement outlines the company’s objectives and its methods of reaching those objectives, a vision statement focuses on its future. It’s critical to describe the company’s purpose and what it’s striving to achieve. Most importantly, it must be measurable to help you to track your progress.
A good example of a real estate company’s vision statement is ‘to provide affordable housing to 1000 families every year for the next ten years’.
When crafting a vision statement, it’s critical to:
- Define your customers
- Determine the services you want to provide
- Make it measurable
- Plan at least ten years into the future
A good vision statement can act as a benchmark for measuring success and highlighting the areas that need improvement. By visualizing how the company will look like in the future, it’s easy to set a direction for the planning and implementing its corporate-level strategies.
Simplify The Plan By Breaking It Down
Once you’ve set the major goals, you need to break them down into smaller objectives. Developing short-term objectives that are easier to achieve fast can keep every employee constantly motivated.
Short-term goals are also achievable in a limited time-frame, meaning that every manager will assess performance easily.
The key is to create a flow chart and ensure that every task is part of a major goal. The ultimate goal is to ensure that everything flows smoothly. Remember that discrepancies in one department can have a boomerang effect in another department and that every area is sensitive.
Develop Effective Key Performance Indicators
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are vital to achieving the company’s goals as they help keep the main objective at the forefront. Communicating the business’ objectives across the organization is vital, so every employee is responsible for a set of KPIs. Since the KPIs are small cogs in the major wheel, they can help everyone pull in the same direction. By doing so, it’s easy to achieve the overarching goals.
For the best outcomes, avoid crafting too many KPIs that might overwhelm your employees. Having 8-12 KPIs will ensure that every team has the vision required to function optimally. Also, avoid focusing only on financial goals. Instead, develop clear success criteria and ensure that the KPIs are quantifiable.
Align Your Methods to Your Customer’s Needs
All too often, businesses create products without identifying the customer’s needs. Then, the businesses have to spend a fortune on advertising. Creating products that address specific needs and solve particular problems can help to create customer delight. Identifying the target customers and getting relevant information on what they require can help businesses launch and enhance their products successfully.
Customer research is critical to understanding the customer experience as it helps your team to develop the best practices when developing the products.
Customer-focused management leverages the following strategies:
- Getting to know the customer through segmentation
- Communicating with the customer through reviews and feedback
- Responding appropriately through product innovation
By digging into the customers’ needs before creating your products, you will give your sales team an easy time and guarantee more repeat business. Market research will also help to identify the problems that you need to solve.
The goal of resource planning is to allocate the necessary funds to accomplish every activity in your plan. Before you begin, you need to bring in the experts that have handled such tasks in the past and get their opinions on the best practices. The experts will give you an alternative analysis on various ways to accomplish the tasks.
Brainstorm about the possibilities and choose the most feasible and cost-effective methods.
Use the available project management software to develop bar charts that highlight the sequence that you will follow. Once you complete the planning process, start allocating the resources that you need for every activity. Proper project management allows you to source for the funds that you require beforehand to avoid delays.
Consult an Expert
Many companies stumble during the planning stage as a result of lack of collaboration between the various divisions. Inadequate evaluation of the available resources causes many businesses to bite more than they can chew.
If you don’t address all the hurdles you’ll encounter along the way, it will be almost impossible to execute your strategic plan. Professionals that have done it before will help you to take advantage of the tried-and-tested strategic planning methods.
Are you looking to create a solopreneur strategic plan for business development but don’t know where to begin? Contact us today, and we’ll guide you every step of the way.
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