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|Creating a Business Strategy
On a scale of one to ten, having a good business strategy rates
about a fifteen!
No matter what kind of business you have -- whether you sell
products or a service, as the saying goes, "if you fail to plan,
then you're really planning to fail."
Creating a strategy can mean the difference between you working
60 to 80 hours a week all year long -- and then breaking even,
or worse, losing money.
On the other hand, many successful entrepreneurs who have a
strategy work fewer hours and make piles of money -- and they
usually attribute their success to having a strategic plan and
So what is strategic business management? Very simply, it's the
process of defining the goals and objectives for your business,
creating an action plan so you can reach them and then following
How do you create a strategic plan for you business?
1. First, know what your vision for your company is. If there
were no barriers, nothing stopping you from taking your company
as far as you could -- what would that look like?
2. Next, what are your company's core operating values? What are
its guiding principles? In other words, why are you in business
and how do you do business?
3. Now create a 3 to 5 year plan. Your long-term plan is based
on the broad objectives that will help you get from where you
are now, to where you want to be.
4. Develop a plan for this year. These are the specific
objectives you plan to accomplish this year that will lead you
closer to your long-term goals. Remember to be "SMART" when
setting your annual goals (Specific,
Realistic, Time-oriented). Include a list of the barriers that
are stopping you from getting where you want to go. Figure out
what resources you've already got, and what resources you need
to get you past those barriers. And then create an action plan
that clearly lays out how you will achieve your goals. Involve
key employees with this part of the planning process.
5. Create a set of milestones or benchmarks. This is very
important, so that you can measure your progress.
6. Share the plan with your employees, and anyone else who will
be involved in the process. Your annual strategy is the roadmap
that will make sure everyone ends up at the same destination --
but to be effective, everyone needs the same map!
7. Put the plan into action. Now that you have the roadmap, it's
time to begin the journey.
8. Check your progress. Just like any trip, you need to check
the map every now and then; to be sure you're still on the right
road. If something isn't working, the sooner you figure it out
and make the necessary adjustments, the sooner you'll be back on
9. Follow the same cycle next year. (Dream, Plan, Act, Check).
Creating a business strategy and following it will ensure that
you enjoy the journey as much as getting to your final
About the author:
Hans Hasselfors is a successful business entrepreneur and
internet marketing consultant. Get the net working for you. Join
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