Guest Post by Nabukenya Muwonge
The holiday season is over and the festive mood has died down. The holiday season was not a time for being serious, it was party time with the family! But that does not mean that somewhere in the back of your mind, your business, and its near future is no longer important. I’d like to ask you a simple but important question – have you sat down to start your strategic planning for 2012?
Perhaps you have not had the time because you were so busy and carried away with the hustle and bustle of the festive season. Or perhaps instead you are new to the world of self employment and are not sure where to start. That’s where I come in, with some simple steps to help you begin this exciting creative process.
If you work with staff, it’s a good idea to include them in on the process of strategic planning as this not only empowers them with planning experience, but it also ensures that their voices are heard, and adds a richness to the process that would be missing if you did it on your own. If like me, you are the only staff member, don’t despair, this is a process that you can do together with your accountability partner also. My advice is to do this with a likeminded business woman if you can, as she can challenge you in a way that only another entrepreneur can and you can do the same thing for her.
What you’ll need:
A flipchart paper or a white board to visualise your plan, markers, pens and some note paper. And most importantly – one to two days to do this planning process.
What to do: Divide your paper or board into four quadrants and label each quadrant as follows: (the prompts are there to stimulate discussion)
- Platforms and partners – which platforms are you planning to use to sell your product or service? Who are your potential partners and collaborators? Any other thoughts?
- Team, Budget – Who does your team consist of? What is the structure of your company? How much will it cost to have this team? What capital costs will you incur to keep the company running including investing in equipment?
- Website and Media – How do you plan to showcase your company? How can you use local media and internet marketing to reach your clients, add value and generate more business?
- Products, Targets – What are you selling or providing? What are your targets in terms of what you would like to sell or produce? What are your targets in order to break even and make a profit?
This step needs to be done individually or in small groups. For each Quadrant, write two to three practical steps that can be taken to execute the tasks required for that topic. Set deadlines for completion of tasks and if you are working in a team, allocate roles.
Plan quarterly feedback meetings with your staff or your accountability partner once you have completed the planning process. Set fixed dates for the feedback meetings and make sure that you meet at least quarterly to check on your progress and regroup.
Good luck and enjoy the journey!
Guest Post by Nabukenya Muwonge
Nabukenya Muwonge is a coaching consultant who provides life coaching and consulting services to clients all over the world. In her spare time she enjoys exercising, spending time with close girlfriends and teaching children.
Read more about her work at www.petitecoach.com
Follow her @Nabukay