As a business management consulting firm, we engage with businesses from many industries and have been surprised by the confusion surrounding the difference between Business and Strategic Plans. The two are not the same and it’s important to understand the difference.
Commonly used by start-ups or for specific projects/initiatives these are short-term and typically associated with applications for finance or prepared for key stakeholders to support an argument for investment. They typically include financial projections, a return on investment analysis and detailed timelines.
These offer a long-term view (2 to 5 years) and deal with several areas of a company i.e. customer demographics, marketing and product ranging etc. They provide information about the ‘what’, ‘who’, ‘why’, ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘how'. They typically include key objectives and provide a detailed plan to achieve them. More significantly, a strategic plan is proof that the business is a going concern, and this in itself increases its value to others.
From our experience, few small to medium size businesses have a Strategic Plan and if they do, it exists inside the owners’ head. Drawing on 30+ years’ experience idResults developed a simple to use strategic planning tool with an easy to follow 3 step process. Then to ensure its success, we prepared a workshop to teach people how to use it.
An idResults Strategic Planning Workshop can be tailored to suit a business of any size, even if it's just an owner operator. Best of all, it delivers immediate results and will continue to benefit the business for years to come.
Key to its success is the diagnostic questionnaire. Created by Graham Henrickson, it's an exclusive tool that gathers the vital information needed to determine the trading context and set clearly defined objectives for a business. Once these are agreed, a detailed plan is prepared to achieve them.
When documented, a Strategic Plan includes an analysis of the business, the key objectives along with a detailed plan to achieve them. With each task assigned and a deadline set it acts like a blueprint with a road map to success.
Having a well-documented strategic plan can increase the value of your business by up to 5 times the EBIT.