Core Small Business Skills – Strategic Business Planning

Core Small Business Skills – Strategic Business Planning

Research into the failure of Australian small businesses has identified, that in 90% of cases, a lack of small business management skills were one of the key causes of business failure. Strategic Business Planning is just one of the core business skills entrepreneurs and small business owners should be looking to develop.  These are a few skills every business owner should possess.

Strategic Research

Conducting research on your market and product development is an important skill to possess. This includes information relating to the global economic environment, national and regional economic information, social and demographic information, social trends, industry and competitive intelligence as well as internal business reports and analysis.

While this kind of information is important, it is vital that you also undertake other research. Research to improve areas such as customer satisfaction, feedback, complaints, and demands. Information on these areas can also help in the development of better value propositions. a

Analysis

You need to be able to take this research and analyze what it means to your business. You need to be able to assess your business’s strengths and opportunities. Once you assess these, you’ll be able to protect yourself from weaknesses and threats. Being able to undertake complex analysis is the key to determining appropriate long-term, intermediate and tactical strategies.

Strategy Development

Using your research and subsequent analysis you need to have the skills to determine what your business’s end game should. You also must be able to map out an appropriate strategy for achieving those objectives. A small business owner should all the information he can to determine the strategic path their business should be on. A path of making informed decisions based on numbers and hard fact, rather than gut instinct. Informed strategies are valuable, but only if planned correctly.

Business Planning

Successful entrepreneurs and small business owners need strong business planning skills. You need to be able to take your strategy and communicate it to all the relevant stakeholders. This includes your bank manager, angel investors, your staff, third-party suppliers and anyone else who has a stake in your business. Usually the vehicle that is used to formally communicate your strategy is your business plan.

Business planning skills will help you create a clear, concise document which defines your business vision, your mission and values as well as the strategic path you have chosen and why. You should be able to identify each of the goals and objectives and outline in the plan how and when each of the steps on the journey will be achieved.

Strategy Communication

Simply having a strategy is not enough. You need to be able to articulate that strategy so that people can understand what it is you are trying to achieve. Then , you must communicate their role in assisting your business goals. Once that is understood, people need to ‘buy into’ the vision. Being able to communicate the strategy and sell this business to an audience is a crucial skill to possess.

Developing strong strategic development skills will stand you in good stead as you grow your business. You will be surprised how often you are called upon to articulate your business strategy. Through a process of researching your business environment, you’ll get to know your business intimately. You will be able to discuss the analyses of your business plan and to communicate that strategy whenever required. The ability is one of the most important core skills a small business owner must possess. You can create incredible growth and opportunities for any kind of business.

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