Business leaders and executives go to great lengths to create and implement business plans. Creating and executing a sound plan takes ample pre-planning. Executives should analyze their processes and identify weaknesses within those processes — it’s a vital task that may eliminate problems on the back end. For better execution, follow these important steps:
1. Determine Your Primary Customer
In order to stay competitive, you must clearly answer one question: who are you trying to reach? Once you’ve identified your primary customer, you’ll have a better sense of where to strategically allocate resources. Take caution; don’t mistake your primary customer for your target customer; many businesses have multiple targets. A business that has identified its primary customer has the ability to devote a maximum amount of resources to those customers.
2. Track Critical Performance Goals
Once you’ve determined your primary customer, the second imperative step is to track performance goals. Once you set the right goals, you must assign accountability and monitor performance. However, it’s important to focus on the correct performance indicators. You must ensure that your team is tracking the right variables; make sure to determine which variables mark the difference between strategic success and failure.
3. Inspire Creativity
After you’ve validated that your team is tracking the right performance goals and controlling strategic risk, you’re ready to move to the next vital step: inspiring creativity. Encouraging innovation and creativity can be challenging, as it is human nature to fall into repetitive habits and behaviors. Some people find it difficult to adapt to a new process or procedure. To overcome the status quo, push your team out of their comfort zones; it’s up to you to inspire creative thinking by challenging others to step out of the box. Everyone must think and behave like a competitive champion.
4. Brace for Change
Nothing lasts forever. Regardless of your current winning strategy, certain variables constantly bring about change. From variables such as customer evolving preferences to new technology, you won’t ever be able to predict exactly what the future holds. Adapting to change is difficult, but it is critical to the survival of your company. Your reaction to change dictates the atmosphere within the ranks. Combat change by staying informed of industry trends, networking with your peers and knowing your competition. You’ll put yourself and your company in the best possible position to respond quickly and efficiently to change.
Taking time to analyze and streamline processes prior to business plan development can help you achieve optimal business plan results. You will set in motion a positive chain reaction. Your team will have the best chance to operate at a high level, which will help deliver maximum return on investment (ROI) and profits.
This guest article by University Alliance was submitted on behalf of the University of Notre Dame, which offers several online business courses, including negotiation and leadership training.
During this economic downturn, your 4 ideas really hit the head on spurring innovation for our country. The Brace For Change part was spot on!