Monday, May 25, 2015

Small Business Planning

Just starting your new company? There are all kinds of free advice, websites and books to guide you. But if you're trying to be strategic, then having a business plan with a heavy dose of research and marketing that guides your actions can save time and keep you on track.
Here some suggestions of strategic "to-do" strategies for short, medium and long term planning purposes to help you keep moving forward in your business:
Short Term (12 months):

1. Revise your strategic plan (including communications and marketing strategy), build annual plan, and get staff reinvigorated (1-3 day offsite). Once it is ready, make sure everyone in the organization knows what it is and how they fit into the big picture. Find a small business planning expert through SCORE or a local SBA office and online for help.
2. "Get Branded". Determine Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) for all products/services. What does the company want to be to its customers in the niche you are in? Build a client description for each service you offer. Utilize these descriptions to create the corporate "brand" on your website.
3. Determine a target market for the USPs:
4. Conduct analysis of existing business customer base:
a. Build a customer profile for each customer (create database)
b. Describe current funding streams (sources of revenue) of our products/services
c. Determine what products/services are not being provided that might be up-sell
opportunities to add to the marketing mix
d. Conduct customer surveys to ascertain present and future needs using on-line methods.
5. Determine business processes required to solve customer's needs and desires.
6. Support staff requirements (training, resources, development, and innovation).
7. Develop a marketing and communications plan to stay connected and provide up-sell opportunities to customers. Plans should tie together association memberships, exhibit booth strategies, and providing free stuff (newsletters, audio, videos, blogging, specific web site, free downloads, podcasts, videos, auto responder, training or other media that builds your reputation as the thought leader in your niche).
8. Determine training needs for personnel for business development, capture work, technical skills, etc.
9. Start building a Knowledge Management Strategy by obtaining an in-house web portal capability for personnel to collaborate and share common data and intellectual capital. Your strategy is to improve value by blending the right mix of people, process, and technology.
10. Review and improve the current teaming partner's process. Assign responsibility and accountability to an appropriate person
11. Celebrate organizational success, (rewards and recognize company and individual accomplishments).
Mid Term (1-3 years)
1. Review what business model is needed to support the strategic plan (spin-off to new subsidiary, potential mergers or other teaming opportunities).
2. Business Development (BD) Process: Retool the capture management process by:
a. Create Business Development/capture mgr position(s)
b. Identify roles and accountabilities in BD process
3. Maximize tuition reimbursement program funding to pay for personnel training.
4. With sector priorities developed, determine appropriate Knowledge, Skills, Abilities (KSAs) and revise Position Descriptions as necessary.
5. Determine any additional tools that may be required to ensure interview/screening process is identifying the right applicants for organization positions.
6. Develop in-house training and education needs. Determine training venues and requirements to build in-depth capacity between employees and SME consultants
a. Depending on what future training and planning work the organization wishes to pursue, staff may need education on writing training curriculum, conducting training, and training trainers
b. Staff may need certifications that should be identified and paid through tuition re-imbursement
7. Create and implement updates (brown bag) sessions open to all staff to find out about job vacancies and upcoming opportunities.
8. Create succession planning and internal promotion roadmaps for supervisors to share with staff.
Long Term (3-5 years):
1. Determine long term growth model for the organization portfolio. If mergers/acquisitions are being considered, then create an in-house cell with the capability to research, target, and vet possible candidates. The cell will be the lead entity to work with management in determining the acquisition strategy and plan to merge the target into the company portfolio before and after disclosure forms are completed.
2. Identify additional collaboration and knowledge retention tools for personnel. Aging workforce issues and new younger generation workers more savvy to knowledge management, collaboration and information sharing with Web 2.0 technologies are impacting us. It's here now, and you can either avoid the discussion or embrace it. (Avoidance will be to your peril). You will have a harder time attracting and keeping younger generation staff if you don't provide them the tech tools they are accustomed to.
3. Knowledge retention strategies must be cultivated. Having up-to-date database management, communities of practice, in-house training (off and online), and mentoring along with succession planning are all needed to grow both the organization and the people supporting it.
4. Knowledge Management (KM) is a journey. The heart of a successful KM effort is to build it into the long term strategic plan. By aligning people, process, and technology with the KM effort, you will be building the foundation that allows empowered workers to collaborate, innovate, and share both tacit and explicit knowledge that is used to create your organization's products and services. A well thought out KM process coupled with management support, can be a huge competitive advantage in today's global marketplace.
I invite you to learn more about knowledge management strategies by watching my free Knowledge Management Leadership Video. To claim your Free Video, visit my website at []
Kevin Bushey is a business strategist and coach who's passion is to assist leaders and teams to fulfill their organization mission through effective knowledge management strategies and business models.
Article Source:

Article Source:

No comments:

Post a Comment