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What’s Your Work Plan for 2013?

Posted on November 22nd, 2012

Categories: Advice, Business, Management

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Do you have a formal strategic plan for your business across the next three years, the next year, or even the next quarter? Strategic planning is essential for the long-term success of any business, particularly in these uncertain economic times. A well crafted plan will stop you from wondering:

• Why you aren’t hitting your goals
• Why all your team are not on the same page
• Why your staff are not able to execute tasks without having to ask questions all the time
• Why you are not better prepared

If you find yourself thinking about any or all of the above, the chances are you do not have an adequate business strategy in place for the future months. Successful companies that plan and execute their plans consistently know the benefits of long term strategic planning and alignment. Often executives will manage to plan for the current quarter with little consideration for longer term three to five year objectives – a pitfall for any business that wants to think long-term.

Here’s how you can plan ahead and guarantee your business long-term success:

1. Develop a strategy
If things are going well for your business, don’t become complacent – develop a strategy on how to gain market share. Remember, your business is always vulnerable to others who strategically plan, and these strategic planners are the businesses that will out-perform you. Take a long-term approach to your business and be ready for any surprises in order to remain competitive in your sector.

2. Make individual roles clear
Make sure you are clear about your personal role in the future of your business – only then can you execute a strategic plan for the company. Ensure that your management team focuses on individual objectives and not only the company’s goals. Your staff need to be clear on who they want to be and what motivates them to contribute to the business and achieve results on a daily basis. Ensure your staff’s perception of their future role in the company is in alignment with yours and you will have a motivated set of employees contributing to the bottom-line of your business.

3. Make your priorities clear
If you are constantly battling with competing priorities, it can be difficult to make the transition from working in the business to working on the business. Prioritising strategic planning is an essential practice that will enable you to run your business and not let the business run you. Making your strategy and alignment a priority means you will create efficiencies that will free up time and resources in your company, and ultimately achieve your business goals effectively.

Drive the strategic planning process and take action using the following steps:

1. Set a date for a planning retreat before the new year. Do it now – you can sort out all the other details when the date is set.

2. Hire a facilitator. You need methodology and objectivity for a successful retreat. This is well worth the money, in fact, in the long term it will be money saved.

3. Engage your team. Demonstrate your commitment to strategic planning as a priority and get the conversation started. Sharing accountability is a helpful assurance that your long term strategic plan will be realised.

Execute these action points and you’re on the way to gaining a competitive advantage.

We can help you with your planning and set objectives that will help keep your business ahead of its competitors. Get in touch today to find out how Ascend Twentyone can help you gain competitive advantage for your business.

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