Do you have a powerful and practical strategic plan for your small business? After the last year, a lot of small business owners know they have to take action. It’s not enough to just get by and pay the bills; you need to create a thriving business.
If you’re like many American small business owners and entrepreneurs, you are searching for solutions. You know it’s essential to be profitable. You may not have gone to business school, but you know that the secret to a thriving business is having a precise plan.
With a clear strategic plan, you’ll move out of ‘surviving’ and into ‘thriving.’ Let’s look at 5 steps to achieve your business goals.
1. Set your business goals
Setting goals is the way to achieve them. It may seem too simplistic. However, if you don’t have clearly defined goals for your business, it’s a short path to just keep struggling. A thriving business requires that you set clear goals that you can measure and manage.
2. Create a strategy to reach your goals
Every small business needs to have specific strategies that are the way to achieve the goals. For example, let’s say you want to have a financial institution that is ready to work with you as your business grows. Your strategies may include getting a business loan, restructuring debt, and opening multiple accounts. By investigating options, you may find that a credit union offers you more favorable options than a traditional bank.
3. Define specific tactics
Think of this as a funnel. At the top of the funnel are your goals. As you progress down the funnel, you outline core strategies. To realize your strategies, you define specific tactics. Tactics are often called “key performance indicators” (KPI). This term is used to measure the progress of things such as gross profit, customer satisfaction, and cash flow. While the exact KPIs vary across businesses, many of the core principles are consistent across brick-and-mortar businesses.
For online businesses, KPI often refers to things such as website traffic, social media engagement, conversion rate, and shopping cart abandonment. Each of these tactics of KPIs will affect how profitable your business is today – and how profitable it will be in the future. As your business grows, the tactics that you employ and measure often expand.
4. Track and measure your progress
There’s a classic saying that you’ve probably heard, “What gets measured, gets done.” In small businesses, tracking and measuring progress is essential. Think of it as a living data feed. Each day you find out if you are moving towards your weekly goals. Each week, you’ll see if you’re moving towards your monthly goals. Each month, you’ll know how you’re progressing towards your quarterly and yearly goals.
By tracking the data, you will be able to know whether you are on track for success. For instance, let’s say that the sales data for this quarter is just coming in. You see that instead of increasing the number of customers, you are losing customers. While this may initially be alarming, it’s better to know this as soon as possible. Once you see the attrition rate, you can get to work to analyze the reasons.
5. Adjust to achieve your goals of a thriving business
In every small business, your creativity is your greatest asset. This is what will help you to brainstorm solutions, respond to problems, and anticipate threats. Instead of feeling depressed or demoralized by data, you can respond swiftly.
In the case of losing customers, you may want to experiment with how to adjust your sales approach. For example, you may find that customers are leaving your company to go to a new competitor. With a little investigation, you can design more attractive offers to retain and regain your customers.
Perhaps you need to personalize your approach. Many sales teams are finding that a personal note, a personalized email, or a one-on-one Zoom call helps boost customer loyalty.
Alternatively, you can design a more attractive incentive to win new customers, and encourage customers to stay with your company. You may want to experiment with pricing models, loyalty rewards, or a point system.
If you want to get better at adjusting your approach, talk with a business expert. Often, an objective professional can spot issues and identify solutions with remarkable clarity. By actively adjusting your responses, you can nip this problem in the bud.
Creating a thriving small business takes skill, planning, and creativity. With an objective approach, you can organize for success. Yes, you can achieve your business goals.