Each year, take the time to measure progress and assess the specific steps you’ll take in the coming year to ensure that you stay on track. We invite our entire company to participate in annual planning because some of the best ideas come from the people whose hands are closest to the work.Like many new small business owners, you probably dream of financial independence, the freedom of spending your time as you wish, being your own boss, or feeling content by filling a void in the market.
Business strategy means having a long-range plan and milestones along the way that ensures you get there.
And it should be something you do year in, year out.
Much can happen in the business during those years: priorities may have shifted, you added new products, key staff came onboard or moved on.
Suddenly, you realize that your course has changed as an organization, but your long-range plans aren’t updated to reflect the new direction you’re taking.
We also reference our purpose in conversations, meetings, email exchanges, and more, so it shapes our work each day.
A vision shared by all employees—whether that’s just you, 12 others, or hundreds in your business—is crucial to achieving your business goals.The best way to ensure you reach your goals is to go through the important process of annual planning.This will help you formally identify if you’re on track, or even if changes in circumstances—like new technology, market changes, turnover and new products—mean you need to reassess your long-range plan.SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. Our exercise is not just for top executives: we invite our entire community to participate, and the effect has been powerful for Keap.Many years ago, we learned how to take a team through a process that yielded the strategic issues we needed to address in our priority setting.We like to involve Keap employees from every department in our quarterly planning process.They give input through a series of exercises we call SWOT . We use the “plus” concept to refer to the inclusive, collaborative approach.You probably feel comfortable in two of them, the “technician” and “entrepreneur” hats, but you also acquired a “manager” hat along the way, which may be a less natural fit. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’d rather come up with ideas that plan, organize, and manage the financials.However, Gerber insists that all hats must be worn in order to succeed.The majority of small business owners created a business plan as part of their overall launch.But with the day-to-day of running the business, a lot of time goes by before you refer back to that plan—if at all.