- Posted by James Canada
How many of us consider the strategic plan to be the starting point for a business, and then leave it at that? However, successful business owners use the strategic plan as a road map and valuable tool for the entire business journey.
Beyond having a great idea, a well-designed, high-level plan enables new business owners to obtain start-up funds, develop a business model, establish a business culture and attract the right clients and employees. But, long-term business success is more likely to evolve when the strategic plan is revisited on a regular basis and measured against specific critical success factors.
“Our high level strategic plan guides our company’s expansion to this day”, says James H. Canada, Managing Partner & CEO, Alliance Technologies, LLC, celebrating eight years of steady growth. “We review tactical elements of our plan every week. Once a quarter, the team gets together to ensure we are meeting the objectives that support our critical success factors.”
In his new book, Corporate to Entrepreneur – Strategies for Success, Canada explains how to create an ideal strategic plan, and recommends reviewing it routinely with staff. The key is to align employee goals and objectives with the objectives outlined in the plan. Employees want to see a clear purpose for the work they do and how it contributes to the bottom line. The process increases engagement and satisfaction, at a time when employees want more than money as incentive. They want to see their ideas implemented, as well as be a part of the planning and inner workings of the company.
The components of the plan set the foundation for objective measures of success. For example, when client retention increases from ninety-five to ninety-eight percent, this indicates the company is meeting the needs of existing clients. When employee turnover decreases from eight percent to six percent, the team has done a good job of retaining staff.
Successful companies implement processes to revisit the plan on a regular basis. They check progress and prevent deviating from the plan. Changes must also be considered based on the progress of the organization. In today’s fast-paced world, Canada reminds us, “If you are not moving ahead – you are falling behind. If you do not stay flexible, change and adjust to the times, your competitor will—and pretty soon you will be playing catch up to stay in business.”
Jim is an operations, business development and program/project management leader with Executive Management experience in both Service and Manufacturing environments.
About Alliance Technologies
Alliance Technologies is a St. Louis area technology services, staff augmentation, and consulting services firm. Contact us to learn more about how Alliance can help your business succeed.