When you first start a business, you tend to think about things in the short term. How are you going to find your first customers? Will you be able to make enough money to keep the business afloat? Do you need to hire employees or find an office space? But once you have dealt with these questions and the business is stable, you need to think about the future.
If you want to make your business a success, you need to get to grips with strategic planning. This means thinking about where you want the business to go and determining how you’re going to get there. So, how do you develop a strategic plan for the future of your business?
Think About Why You Started The Business In The First Place
When you are trying to work out where your company should go in the future, think about why you started it in the first place. Why did you want to run your own business? Was it so that you could earn a little more money each year, or were you more motivated by having the chance to work for yourself and have a flexible schedule? Once you have answered this question, think about whether this is still important to you. If you were just hoping to earn a bit of extra money on the side, you might not have huge plans for expansion. However, if you value flexibility, you might decide to grow the business so you can earn more from it.
It’s not just about money either, it’s about what you wanted to achieve with your product. Maybe you wanted to give people an eco-friendly version of a common product, or you wanted to change the way that people thought about a certain industry altogether. Think about your company values and what you can do to meet them.
Set Specific Goals
When deciding on the future, be specific. Just saying that you want to make more money, or grow the business isn’t enough. You need to determine concrete targets before you can work out how to achieve them. Think about what your business is good at and why people choose to do business with you. Consider whether there are certain aspects of the company that could be improved on, or if there are other areas where you have the potential for growth. The OKR (objectives and key results) model is a good way to develop detailed, realistic goals. Investing in OKR coaching is an excellent way to improve your goal-setting. The more detailed you can be with your goals, the more likely you will be to meet them.
Research Your Audience
Remember, it’s not just about what you want, it’s about what your customers want too. Think about your customer base and what they want from your business. Do you need to add new products or services to attract more customers? Or do you need to improve on the current experience in some way? By doing market research, you can determine what your customers want and use that to direct the future of your business.
Unless you can come up with a strategic plan for the future, your business won’t move anywhere, so start looking ahead!