July 9, 2019
Kenny Crow, CPA | Shareholder | Published by Crow Shields Bailey PC
As business leaders, we hear all the time that we need to be managers. We need to work ON our business instead of IN it. This is much more difficult than it sounds. We have to train ourselves to go to work every day to manage a business, not to do the things that the business must do to get the work done.
The fast way to achieve this new role is to hold a Strategic Planning Meeting. Our firm has facilitated several of these meetings. It is a great idea to have someone outside your business to be the discussion leader.
All the key decision makers of the business should attend this meeting. Ultimately, you have to get buy-in and make sure you are all on the same page. It is better to hold the meeting away from the office so you can eliminate any possible distractions with your team members.
The strategic planning meeting should start with a SWOT analysis, making sure to get everyone’s input to determine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The value of this exercise is to discover what you are good at and what you need to improve upon to help achieve your vision. Next, you discuss the opportunities that exist to obtain your expected level of growth and competitive edge. Finally, you can analyze the threats that exist that could preclude your ability to meet your goals.
Your agenda might include a visioning exercise. Does your vision statement clearly define what the end looks like when you reach maturation? It is critical that your decision makers are all moving toward the same ultimate goal. If not, you have to go through this process or you will be constantly banging your head against the wall.
The results of the SWOT analysis will help you determine which items need to be addressed first. Often, it is a good idea to work with the low-hanging fruit to achieve some early success and get some momentum going. This improvement is a process and can be taxing on your team. Do not try to do everything at once. This can lead to burnout and frustration. Set an agenda for improvement and be diligent about keeping your team focused and committed to the cause.
This process can easily take 18-24 months. The results are that you will be running a business that does not depend on you to be successful and it will outlive you. This in turn makes your business more valuable to a potential buyer because you have built a business that has systems in place to handle the routine things. All of this is possible because you learned the value of working ON your business rather than IN it.
Give us a call if we can help you plan your next Strategic Planning Meeting. We are happy to assist you.