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Strategizing, planning and executing in a small business


Small Business. PHOTO:Digitalist Magazine

What sets the difference between many entrepreneurs is having the ability and skill set to strategize, plan and execute. These are core components of business programs around the globe. While most SME entrepreneurs may not have the stretch or financial capability to go for business programs at the budding stage of their business, they have to be able to strategize, plan and execute to grow their business.

After setting up our vision boards and goals, what comes next? We have to sit down with ourselves and team mates to strategize and figure out how to execute. A vision will forever remain a vision if there haven’t been any definite steps taken to ensure that the vision becomes a reality. Your vision and goals must be definite, measurable and realistic.

Strategizing in business is formulating, evaluating and ensuring decisions are implemented to enable a business achieve its long-term goals and be successful. If you are not currently strategizing as an entrepreneur, apparently, you are like a farmer farming with no tools. And we are not just talking about the semantics here.
How will your business achieve its goals? How will your business meet and supersede its customers’ expectations and also, how will it sustain a competitive edge in the marketplace. Let’s face it! There will always be competition in a thriving industry. How are you assessing the internal and external factors and environments in which the business exists?

Business strategy is very important in having a successful business. It’s not enough having a fantastic product or service to sell. You must have a business strategy to help you sell and keep selling. You must have a strategy that can help you grow your customers and retain them. You must find a strategy that can help you be profitable and sustainable. You must find a strategy that can help you grow and expand.

You have to find ways for your business to be unique, profitable, gain customers, retain customers, be innovative and lead the industry. Take time to study the industry, its trends, its customers and their needs etc. For example, a shoe making business, can be strategic to produce shoes that won’t be destroyed by water during the rainy season. 

Strategizing as an entrepreneur should be a continuous process. I find my most intelligent brainstorming sessions is when I’m alone in the car driving in traffic. In the insanity of the situation, I am able to carry out strategic thinking that brings out viable results. Next thing I do is to have strategic sessions with my team. From there, full blown out strategic ideas are formed, planned and ready for execution.

Some tips on strategizing are; Keep some quiet and alone times to yourself at least once a week to brainstorm. Have routine strategizing meetings with your team members and create strategic plans that can be used for execution. Write down spot on ideas and explore them when you can.

While it’s important to have strategies, it’s not enough to only have them, you have to be able to execute them successfully. Execution rightly done is a well-organized process with realistic steps of actions to make a strategy work. When there is no careful and tactical approach to execute, strategic goals can not be achieved.

Put all strategy into an action plan and execute accordingly. Set action points and timelines for execution and hold yourself accountable for each action point. Carefully and judiciously execute action points. Sometimes you may have to rework your action points given a change in circumstances or just because the initial action plan isn’t feasible. After initial execution, test execution and evaluate results. Keep repeating the process in other to achieve your goals.

Most times organizations find it the most difficult to implement and execute strategic plans. You have to invest in people to be able to execute; intelligent people that believe and feed off the business’ vision.Next comes strategic management, which is continuous planning, monitoring, analysis and assessment of all that is necessary for your business to meet its goals and objectives. We are huge on strategic management in Smoothie Express, from time to time we meet to discuss what we need to do to keep us ahead in the industry. We analyzs and assess all we have done and make necessary adjustments.

There are different personalities with different skill sets necessary to achieve an overall business goal. While some people are executers, some people are strategists. There has to be a mix of strategizing, planning and executing skills on your organization’s team. As an SME entrepreneur with minimal access to human resources, you will have to develop these skill sets to move your business forward.

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