Who do you look for when you need help with strategic planning for your business?
Many small business owners lack a strategic plan for their business, typically for one of three reasons: either because they think strategic planning is only for larger companies, because they simply haven’t made it a priority in the face of more urgent day-to-day concerns, or they don’t know where to find help with strategic planning.
For this article we will look at the third reason outline above.
We know that the top executives in a business are responsible for strategic planning, and it’s also true that a careful and objective process is followed when preparing the strategic plan. However, not everyone in the business world is called to strategic planning; this is why large companies have a special planning and research department to collect and analyze information and to develop proposals for the executives to consider.
Strategic planning is very critical to any business or NGO, and we need a strategic plan to succeed. While any business or individual would like to undertake an unlimited number of tasks, there are limits to time, human capital, budgets, and other needed resources. A strategic plan for a business or NGO focuses on the highest priority task for the next three or more years. Start-ups and small business don’t have the leisure to enjoy this privilege; they don’t have a special department to assist them with strategic planning.
So, where can they find help with strategic planning?
Strategic planning for a small business doesn’t need to be as time-consuming or detailed as planning for a large company, but your plan does need to identify what you want to accomplish and how you intend to achieve those goals.
Small companies without a special department for research and planning may hire a research firm or consultants to help with strategic planning. New and small businesses may be able to obtain planning assistance from government agencies such as the Small Business Administration and local/regional economic development offices. They can also use the business department of a nearly colleges or universities; they provide a multitude of useful resources for planning assistance.
Therefore, if you are an individual entrepreneur, small business, or an NGO, strategic planning shouldn’t be hard for you. To make it easier, be willing to think it through, communicate with others, and solicit additional perspectives. You can use the ideas I have shared to get yourself started with strategic planning for your business or project.