View All Articles

Part Three: Better Strategic Planning in the Smaller Company

Robert W. Bradford, President & CEO

Strategic Planning Expert Robert W. Bradford

Strategic Planning Expert
Robert W. Bradford

In two prior articles we discussed the key differences between strategic planning for somewhat larger companies and the smaller companies we are concentrating on here and listed the first four tips we have developed for making Simplified Strategic Planning easier for smaller companies. In this article, we will list the remaining four tips.

  1. Push yourself — and your team — to keep the strategies as focused as possible. A two million dollar company CAN play in a billion dollar market, but it’s much more likely to succeed in a ten million dollar market. Always ask the question ”Can we realistically expect to dominate this market in five years?”.
  2. Don’t have too many objectives — smaller companies will be well served to have 3-5 objectives. If you finish these, you can always start to work on the next set of objectives earlier.
  3. Pay close attention to implementation — because there aren’t excess resources which can be dedicated to strategic activity, routine functions will always demand a higher proportion of your team’s time. You will need to be very careful about allocating time to action plans, and must be highly disciplined about having monthly monitoring of action plan progress to keep the ball rolling.
  4. Outsource as much as you are comfortable with in the process itself. It’s hard enough to learn how to be the best at the things your company does, so consider outsourcing at least some of the planning process and possibly the market research to people who do those things professionally.

Remember, strategic planning should be viewed as a routine part of your year, rather than a separate event, so make sure the process fits into your normal business cycle with a minimum of hassle. If you use these tips, you should complete the process described in our seminars in a reasonable amount of time and get tremendous benefit.

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

Robert Bradford is President/CEO of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  He can be reached at rbradford@cssp.com.
Note:  This article was previously printed in full in Course and Direction in September 2006.
© Copyright 2015 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution