Executing your business strategy

When it comes to business success, a clearly planned and articulated strategy is one of the keys to success. Having ideas about where you want your business to go without committing it to writing often leaves design businesses missing the mark and going down tangential roads that lead away from the original strategic objectives.

Below are our tips on keeping strategic goals within your sights:

  1. Strategic objectives should stretch the limits of your business capabilities, making them exciting to achieve, without being impossible to accomplish. Unrealistic objectives can conversely have a negative impact on morale as well as being an inefficient use of your valuable resources.
  2. Set longer term 3–5 year objectives and action these into realistic milestones of 3 months and 12 months.
  3. Your strategic plan should be visible to (and involve) your key people so that they understand and embrace where you are heading and work with you to deliver clear outcomes. Businesses with clearly defined goals and transparent internal communication are more likely to succeed as key people are encouraged to think strategically, share ideas, and put in the effort required to make business goals a reality.
  4. Know thyself: a strategic plan should closely mirror the ethos of your company. In design, most businesses have aspirations far loftier than just making money. While profit is obviously necessary for company survival, it is not financial gain that defines who you are or what you do. Think about your mission statement and your value proposition. Why do you do what you do? And apply this to your strategic plan to ensure that your business objectives stay true to the company. This will ensure the plan remains genuine, achievable and something all members of your team can believe in.
  5. What does the future hold? A short-term strategic plan may define your cash flow and financial objectives for the coming year, but what about the years beyond that? How do you want your business to grow, and what technical, financial and industry factors might need to be considered in line with your long-term plans?

Keeping on top of your business strategy can be daunting. If your strategic plan needs a new beginning or even an overhaul, get in touch for some advice.

This article, by Management for Design’s Rob Peake, was originally published on the Management for Design website, www.m4d.com.au.

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