What is one of the first things people say you need to put together, before going into business? The normal answer is a business plan. The basis of this statement is, that the business plan, is supposed to be instrumental in guiding your business’s path towards launching your new venture or use it for continual growth.
Truthfully though, in my honest opinion, the business plan is outdated for today’s business environment, especially in the world of entrepreneurship. Today’s entrepreneurship is so rapid and not as controlled as it once was. It is easy for anyone to become an entrepreneur, but also, in turn, has made it harder for people to succeed as an entrepreneur. This is due to how hard it is to get noticed amongst the flooded entries into the competitive landscape, of entrepreneurship.
So how do you differentiate yourself? By writing an in-depth business plan – NO! You do so by developing an effective Startup Strategic Plan.
So, what is a startup strategic plan?
What is a startup strategic plan? A startup Strategic Plan is a framework of effective actions constructed to firmly fit your business model to produce successful results. It sounds like a business plan, but the difference is that with a Strategic Plan you are actively working on your plan as you go. With a business plan its about history, research and a little wishful thinking, all blended together. But, just because you write it down does not mean it’s going to occur. You most likely are going to put it away, never be used again, until needed for a business loan, or some sort of investment, then its outdated in any case.
Why do a startup strategic plan?
A Strategic Plan forces you to do what you say, act on it. It cannot move forward without actual progression being produced. There is no half stepping allowed or time allocated towards being slack and to procrastinate. You must be working towards completing those goals and objectives that are outlined or else the strategic plan loses its purpose. The reason you choose to pursue the course of the Strategic Plan is to stay committed to the plan of action, rather than just talking about what you are going to do.
Strategic planning enables you to:
- create a simple realistic measurable plan quickly
- focus your startup team to become action orientated
- ensure that goals & objectives are clear and measurable, which can be managed daily
- create priorities that will make more sense, especially when new issues arise
- understand inter-dependencies because you can keep track of what needs to happen and in what order
- use milestones that will keep you on track of dates and deadlines in one place
- better delegate because the strategic plan will clarify who is responsible for what
- manage team members and tracking results will be easy
- to plan better and manage your cash flow
This means that you don’t need a big formal business plan to reap these benefits. Instead, think of your strategic plan as a simple project plan. Think of it as something that lives on the computer, not on paper. It’s just big enough to do its job.
How will you implement your startup strategic plan?
The method we use to transfer our knowledge and experience is based on a combination of “Project-Based Learning” (PBL) and “Experiential eLearning” (EEL) which is the process of “learning” through experience, and is more specifically defined as “learning” through reflection on doing?.
This method allows you to gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge, which is implemented to overcome the challenge and helps to develop critical thinking, problem solving, change management and implementation skills.
So, in this project you have the following tasks to complete to achieve the outcome below.
- Task 1 – Analyse your current financial situation and forecast your future financial situation for your startup business
- Task 2 – Create your mission statement, to communicate the purpose, the overall goal-path and providing guidance in terms of behaviour and decision making
- Task 3 – Determine your new venture strategic plan to provide clear direction to achieve your mission and vision
- Task 4 – Review your startup strategic plan
What is the outcome of this project?
Once you have completed the entire project, you would have implemented your Startup Strategic Plan which includes a Marketing, Sales, Operations and Financial Strategies.
You should have completed the business / market research project before you proceed with this project.
What is next?
Once this project is complete, start with the writing of your business plan project to assist you in funding or implementation purposes.