One thing the COVID-19 global pandemic has reinforced is that no one can predict the future, regardless of whether it be six months or six years from now. Uncertainty is, and has always been, a major problem in forward planning. Still, having a good plan not only allows you to anticipate what might lie ahead, but it also prepares the company for the unknown. Our own David Laycraft suggests that business owners should consider implementing a strategic planning process to both grow and de-risk their company:
“I often find that business owners resist strategic planning, as they assume it to be complex, costly and time-intensive – essentially something that “big companies” do. My experience is that strategic planning doesn’t have to be mysterious or take hundreds of hours – it just needs to:
- Be practical and reflect your corporate values;
- Identify corporate strengths and prioritize future opportunities;
- Define the criteria for achieving and measuring success; and
- Inspire you and your staff to work towards a more prosperous future.
A strategic plan is the formalized road map that describes how your business will execute its chosen strategies, and usually consists of the following elements:
- A mission and vision statement;
- A description of the company’s long term goals and objectives;
- Strategies the business expects to use to achieve these goals and objectives; and
- Action plans to implement the strategies.
Your strategic plan is a management tool that helps focus the energy, resources and time of everyone in the organization, while also allowing for the creation of a culture of strategic thinking and decision making.
Most private business owners I work with generally have some additional succession considerations to plan for, including:
- Reducing their importance to the long-term success of the business;
- Growing the value of the business, which is usually a significant component of their personal wealth; and
- Defining their personal endgame and ultimate exit from the business.
These important issues flow nicely into the strategic plan, and make for an even stronger document.
Whether recognized or not, every business already has a strategy, which can range from vague, unspoken desires of the owner to an overly complicated plan prepared years ago that now gathers dust on the owner’s bookshelf. We instead encourage our clients to formalize and share their strategic plan, and are available to assist in the facilitation of a process that encourages focus, allows for flexibility and promotes growth.”
David Laycraft P.Ag., MBA, CMC, CBV, CF, CDFA
David has over twenty years of diversified experience working with privately-held businesses, and regularly assists clients in planning for the future and growing business value.
David can be contacted at (403) 750-7685 or email@example.com