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Goals, Strategy and Plans: The Vital Fuel for Businesses

Many businesses (and certainly many of our clients) find themselves busy with the day-to-day tasks needed to be completed as a business. They know they should plan for the future but whoever gets time for that? They get caught up in the endless cycle of tactical business management.

We encourage and help our clients to take the time to do some serious planning. Consider the following:

1) A strategy is not a plan.

A strategy is derived from your goals, the long-term outcomes you want to accomplish. They help provide the guidelines on how you reach those goals.

2) A plan is not a strategy. 

With the strategy understood, a plan can be formulated. The plan details what we need to do, who exactly will do it and when we need to take action to accomplish the strategy.

3) When should goal setting, strategising, and planning occur? 

This will be different depending on the stance of your business. A high-risk start up might revisit their goals and strategy quite frequently compared to a well-established 50-year-old business with a significant market share. The trick is to achieve the balance between persistence and flexibility. Certainly, we should never be locked into a plan which is not making sense.

4) Some parts of your plan will not work

A plan is NOT guaranteed to happen. No one can predict the future, but you can use information at your disposal to create an idea of how things might go down. Not everything in your plan will work, with an everchanging world some things are likely to change and therefore your approach will have to change to make up for it.

5) Analysis of your plans

Planning requires analysis and careful selection of actions, estimating timeframes and delegation to team members. Good plans result when people have the time to focus intensely on these issues and regularly revisit these actions to improve.

6) Display and share the plan with your team.

Simply put, a plan is not a plan unless it exists in written form all in one place. If you change the plan, amend the written version. Too often things Are changed verbally and not shared with key members of the team who are using the plan in their day-to-day work. That creates confusion and blurs the definition of success.

7) Get some advice.

The best goal setting, strategising, and planning sessions are facilitated by third parties. It is best to have access to someone who can ask the tough questions and intermediate where there are differences of opinion. The facilitator should understand business, especially finance, but not necessarily an in-depth knowledge of your business. In that way, they can bring a fresh perspective to the discussions.

Accountants like ourselves are uniquely positioned to help with strategising and planning because of our knowledge of your business and our insight into many businesses like (and unlike) yours. Please get in touch (contact us page) to discuss how we can help you set goals. Or follow our LinkedIN page to stay up to date with all our tips and tricks.

We should be living lives that are empowered by our businesses, not dictated by them. To do that requires setting goals and implementing well-reasoned plans to meet those goals. The goals you have for your life will drastically change how you approach operating your business. For example, you may want to buy a boat or take a summer off to travel the world. Goals like these would require preparation so that your business can 1. Financially cope with change, and 2. Be prepared for when you do it and setting goals and targets would be a great way to do this.

Having clarity on your goals and what you want to achieve is essential to making decisions rooted in intention. Likewise, developing a relationship with someone to hold you accountable is just as important.

Working with an accountant and business advisor, to set goals, establish metrics, provide real-time monitoring and accountability will provide powerful insight. We’ve helped many business owners, just like you, implement systems that increase revenue, profit and productivity.

We’d love to have a conversation about getting what you want out of your business. When you’re ready, so are we. Contact us  today to get started!

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