Many businesses operate without a strategic plan, despite the importance of a plan to the firm’s future. Small business banking companies aren’t immune to this trend either.
There are plenty of reasons small business banking companies skip the strategic plan; maybe it seems too time-consuming, or maybe you seem to be getting along just fine without one. Take a closer look, however: If you see any of these four signs, it’s time to implement and execute a plan.
1. A Shiftless Company
A strategic plan is the roadmap to the future of your small business banking company. While you may think you know where you’re going and where you want to end up, unforeseen opportunities and issues can and do crop up—all of which will threaten to take you off course.
Since you’re operating without a strategic plan, you may have a difficult time keeping goals in mind. Where do you want to be in five years? If your answer shifts on a frequent basis, you need to consider a strategic plan.
While flexibility is not a bad thing in today’s business environment, a company without a plan may seem to lurch from objective to objective as the market changes. So many changes in direction can leave your small business banking company floundering, investing resources in projects to support one goal, then abandoning them halfway through.
A strategic plan gives your company not only direction, but something to refer to when times get tough or when opportunity knocks. It can guide all of your decisions; it’s your anchor.
2. Changing Gears
Just as your company might not to have a clear objective, another good sign it’s time for a strategic plan is if you always seem to be in the middle of changing gears. As the market shifts and evolves, the company may decide to chase after various different opportunities, leaving a wake of wasted resources and half-finished projects.
Streamline your efforts by adopting a strategic plan. The plan can guide your decisions when opportunity comes knocking. Having set goals and a plan for how to tackle them can keep you from investing resources haphazardly or beginning a project you’re not going to finish.
3. A Goal, but no Road
Some business owners are effective goal setters; you might be one of them. You know where you want to be in five or ten years, and everyone’s aware of the goal.
Problems occur when you or your team don’t know how to get there. A strategic plan is in order here as well: The plan doesn’t stop with setting a goal for the future. It also outlines and details how you’re going to get there. It’s all too easy to get lost without a map—which is what the strategic plan provides.
4. A Lack of Communication
Perhaps you have a vision for the future of the company. Maybe you even have a bit of a plan for how to get there. The problem isn’t so much the planning itself in this case: It’s communicating it to everyone else. If you took a quick survey, would everyone tell you what the company goal is? Would they all get it right?
A strategic plan isn’t just a plan; it’s a communication tool. It can be referenced by all staff members and company partners, and it clearly tells them where the business is going and how it’s going to get there. It’s the easiest way to get everyone on board for a brighter future.