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Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail / Strategic vs Business Planning.

14 December 2022

One of the things that can be challenging in the SME environment is the balance between strategic planning and business planning. We are fortunate enough to work with many different owners and managers and everyone has their own strengths. For most of us, we like to play to them and may opt to spend more time in that space. However, when we are growing a successful, thriving business, we need to do both.

Strategic Planning

Big Picture thinking is what we need to have to help us achieve our long-term goals and take our business to the next level. We need to be able to see the possible in the impossible and understand the market of our product and service to be able to capitalise on the changing environment to make the most of our potential. It requires a blue ocean mindset. Our strategic plans (often 3 to 5 years) are whole of business.

When we run strategic planning processes, we start with a lot of research into your industry, your product, your competitors, your client feedback, what futurists are envisioning and more. We often work with you to complete a SWOT analysis and build a comprehensive plan for achieving your desired future.

Although not a hard and fast rule, most strategic plans have between 2 and 5 areas of focus.

One of the huge advantages of having a robust Strategic Plan is that in a world with so many shiny things it helps us not to get distracted. Clients say regularly that they look at all of the “nice to haves” against the plan and it is easier to stay focused and stay successful as a result.

Business Planning

Business planning is what we do in shorter periods (maybe 3 to 12 months) and in smaller teams or departments.  Our business plans need to connect with the strategic plan and make it possible for the members of our teams to understand their contribution both the business as usual (BAU) component of their jobs and their future focus.

Breaking your strategic plan into business plans is often done by working through the priorities and considering the impact that your department plan has on other teams or departments. For example, an operations team’s goals wouldn’t schedule a technology up-grade during the busiest time of the year for sales due to the potential for client satisfaction issues and employee stress.

When we work through these business plans, we like to support you to turn them measurable KPIs or SMART Goals. This process will give you clarity of progress (or lack of progress) and helps you achieve success.

Taking time out of BAU to focus on planning is one of the most important investments you can make in your business. You’ll have clarity and it will help you stay focused and motivated in both the short and long term.

If you would like access to some of our tools to support you and make this easier, please reach out to Impact HR on 1300474672 or info@impacthr.com.au for an obligation free chat.


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