Implementing a strategic plan may help accounting firms stand out from their competition and retain talent.
No matter your goal is – whether to increase revenue through cross-selling unfamiliar services or acquire clients across industries – having a sound growth strategy is vital to reaching success. Here’s how to get started.
1. Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Strategic planning entails identifying where you want your company to go in the future and setting goals to get there. It requires an enormous commitment from senior management.
Strengths are those aspects of your business that set it apart from its rivals: loyal customers, an outstanding balance sheet or proprietary technology. Conversely, weaknesses are areas where improvements could be made: poor brand recognition or ineffective marketing campaigns that lead to higher-than-average turnover figures.
An effective way of identifying strengths and weaknesses is through conducting a SWOT analysis, with its results used to establish goals and create an action plan. Your strategic plan should include specific measurable objectives as detailed here.
2. Identify Your Goals
Strategic planning involves setting goals that reflect a company’s vision and address its weaknesses, with time-bound measures usually set for measurable and tangible objectives. For instance, an educational business might aim to become the go-to provider of online virtual learning tools within five years.
Once your goals have been established, they should be communicated to employees so they understand why these goals are essential to company success. Doing this will foster employee buy-in and make your plan even more effective. In addition, regularly track its progress – this could happen every few months, quarter, or even annually.
3. Create a Strategy Session
Strategy sessions typically last all day long due to their in-depth nature. Strategic conversations are generally lengthy affairs that involve considerable dialogue. Therefore, it’s essential that all attendees set an ideal date and time that works for all when scheduling strategy sessions. Communicating this ahead of time ensures a productive meeting.
As part of your agenda, it would be helpful to include topics, milestones and questions to keep yourself focused during your session. Doing this will keep everyone on the same page.
Predicting potential flashpoints allows you to address them before they arise and maintain a healthy discussion among everyone involved, potentially preventing derailments of the process altogether.
4. Define Your Vision
Strategic planning typically entails envisioning where a company would like to be within a set number of years and creating short-term business plans that support that vision in order to meet specific objectives.
Managers and employees can then see how their efforts contribute to the company’s success, as well as better understand their performance-based compensation arrangements.
Strategic goals can easily become lost amongst the day-to-day grind. To keep them on track and to monitor metrics related to progress towards them, make time to devote some effort once every quarter or year for setting and revisiting strategic goals. It would also be wise to set benchmarks that track metrics related to progress made toward these objectives.
5. Set Short-Term Goals
Strategic planning should involve everyone involved with your company – from employees and vendors alike. Involvement from all parties involved can provide new perspectives you might otherwise overlook.
Step two is setting short-term goals that lead to your ultimate objective. Prioritize these targets so they are achieved swiftly.
Engaging employees in this process can increase productivity by making sure they focus on the most pressing issues. Furthermore, participation can give employees a sense of ownership in the business and make them more invested in its success.
6. Track Your Success
Once your strategy is in place, it is crucial to monitor its implementation effectively. To do this effectively, set numerical goals that align with overall strategic objectives and implement measures to assess progress.
These metrics can provide insight into conditions integral to goal accomplishment. For instance, an education business may set themselves a goal of unveiling their virtual classroom tool within two years.
Formulating an effective strategic plan is no simple undertaking. It requires effective leadership and communication among team members in order to reach consensus, as well as an understanding of how each strategy will influence company growth and profitability.
Vancouver accounting firm can help organizations with their strategic planning and implementation to ensure success. It’s also critical to monitor your success and progress to make sure your approach is functioning.
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