We are looking down the tunnel at the end of the financial year, which is when many businesses turn into a mad house. Before you get bogged down in all the tax, stocktaking and wrapping up financial activities, take some time to look at your business’ future. It might be the best thing you can do for your business’ growth.

Many businesses spend more time planning days off then they do planning their future and yet a strategic future plan is arguably one of the most important traits of a successful business. While building a detailed business plan and strategy can take most of a day, it ultimately proves a benefit for years to come.

Once you have booked out a time to work on a plan for the future, whether you use top business consulting companies or you do it yourself, there are a few key areas you should always address.

The SWOT – one of the fundamentals of any business plan or strategic process, the business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are always a good place to start. Brainstorm any you can think of and then highlight the top 5 to really focus on. How can you drive your future strategy either in avoiding or taking advantage of these areas?

What is your Audacious Goal? A big audacious goal is more than your short-term strategies, instead, it is something like your 10-year revenue target. It is your ultimate goal to expand into bigger markets or locations and even transitioning into a different product, brand or industry. Think big and do not place limitations on your ideas at this stage, instead imagine what it would look like if everything went right.

Break it down – once you have a destination, you can start breaking down the milestones to determine if you are on target. Move from 3-year goals to a year and then even 90 days, breaking down each goal into clearly specified milestones, making sure you can easily recognise when you have achieved them.

Separate projects into 90-day timeframes. Work projects into quarters and focus on only doing things that will move your business forward. Set up the right project and carefully assign owners to each to ensure there are measurable KPIs in place.

Put some accountability in place – this is perhaps one of the biggest elements for keeping a business growing towards its ultimate goal. Smaller businesses can try holding an accountability meeting every morning, or schedule a regular event for the entire team. Bigger businesses can build accountability into the project ownership role, ensuring that when projects stall it doesn’t need to wait an entire quarter or 6 months to work out an alternative solution.

While it is a process many small business owners can do by themselves, getting your key managers or employees involved can help with forming a clear business direction. Using a professional consultant company can also help keep the process on track, and build a solid framework that will help you build a competitive edge. Need some help? Contact us today to get the process started.

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