Did you know that 54% of businesses within the US are small and micro businesses? Did you know that these small and micro businesses bring in nearly 48% of the nation’s GDP dollars? Did you know that the number of small business start-ups has increased 49% since 1982? Did you also know that 7 out of 10 small businesses fail within the first 5 years?
There are a number of resources in the market designed to help entrepreneurs in early stage growth and development. The bulk of these organizations offer informational programs and guidance on the steps that should be undertaken, but very few offer the coaching needed for those entrepreneurs who do not know the first thing about running a business.
Starting a business involves more than just having a good product or service. A particular strength of small business is their ability to respond quickly to changing economic conditions. They often know their customers personally and are especially suited to meet local needs.
Business is built on captured opportunities that result in revenue dollars. Capturing these opportunities involves preparation and planning. When preparation and opportunity meet…success happens.
How do you know what opportunities to pursue? Where do you find the opportunities? How do you know when your business is a success? How do you know when you go off course (and you will)? How do you get back on track?
Ideally, these are all questions that should be answered prior to starting your business. How will you know you are a success if you haven’t clarified what the definition of success is in the first place?
9 times out of 10, entrepreneurs do not perform the necessary planning before jumping into business. Before they realize it, they are underwater in debt with nothing in the pipeline. At this point the process shifts from a growth strategy focus to a turnaround or transformation strategy for companies struggling financially or having trouble penetrating the market.
An important part of strategically planning your business growth entails knowing the key things that can tell you when you have reached your goals. Called key success factors, these are indicators or milestones measure your business achievements and help determine how well you are progressing towards your goals and objectives. Identifying these goals and objectives is part of the Strategic Planning process.
Strategic planning is the process of identifying the objectives and individual steps required to get from Point A (current situation) to Point B (future situation). There are two types of steps that go into strategic planning. ACTIVE steps are designed to move through the strategic process whereas INACTIVE steps are determinable or informational. These are the steps that require decision-making, research and insight. These are also the steps that determine the direction and action to be taken moving forward. The strategic process has three primary objectives:
- Identify where you are – current situation
- Identify where you would like to be – future situation
- Identify the steps needed to get there
Many entrepreneurs see the strategic-development process as something that is developed as more of an internal operations or management guide, when in actuality it is much more than that. Your strategic plan should focus outward on the market and putting a plan into place on how to capture more of it and protect your company from external and internal roadblocks. Once identified, the plan focuses on the tactics necessary to take advantage of opportunities within the market and being prepared for the onslaught of new business. There are five questions that should be answered during the strategic planning process.
- What is the competition doing within the market and what is not currently being met that we could take advantage of?
- How can we use this information to create value within our product/service offerings?
- How do we build this into our strategic vision and create an action plan?
- How can we communicate this vision and gain buy-in internally and externally?
- What processes will need to be implemented to efficiently and effectively carry out the vision?
If you are an existing entrepreneur struggling financially, having difficulty bringing in new clients or just thinking about venturing out on your own we are your strategic partners on your road to success. We are the GPS of business. We offer a FREE 1 hour consultation. Simply call 407-405-6410 or email us at email@example.com.
DAVNA Enterprises, LLC is a professional services firm, specializing in providing education, coaching and support in the area of strategic planning, marketing and business development. We have been in business since 2009, and we continue to provide excellent service to small and micro businesses in the federal sector, state/local government sector and the private sector.