In this blog post you will learn about basic strategic planning for small businesses and the advantages. Also covered are the key small business statements with an example of each. This includes the small business vision, mission and value statements.
What is Strategic Planning?
Strategic planning for small business owners is a systematic process of envisioning a desired business future (end state) and how to get there. Within the strategic planning process, you decide on your small business direction, broadly define goals/objectives and set priorities. In addition, you identify and align available resources to accomplish the sequence of actions necessary to achieve this.
Basic strategic planning is necessary for small business owners to avoid costly mistakes and be proactive about your business’s future. It plots the direction to operate, grow and survive in the turbulent competitive business climate. It requires innovation, the ability to make the right choices and if necessary, plan radical deviations from current business practices. If your small business fails it normally fails because you as small business owner failed to plan and make the necessary adjustments.
Strategic planning deals with these key questions:
- What do my we do?
- For whom we do it?
- How can we do it different/better?
- How can we avoid/outsmart the competition?
Advantages of Strategic planning
The advantages of strategic planning in small businesses are:
- Creates the right balance between the small business’s wishes and capabilities.
- Provides business direction and focus that clearly defining the desired end state and how it will be accomplished.
- Allows small businesses to be proactive rather than reactive, creating longevity.
- Shapes market (external) and business (internal) perceptions.
- Clearly defines small business success. Helping to set priorities and guiding wise business decisions making, leading to increased profitability and market share.
- Profiles your unique differentiation that sets your small business apart from your competition.
- Clarifies management’s value system and what is expected behavior from each employee.
- It motivates employees and attract and attract like-minded potential employees.
Key Small Business Strategic Statements
What is a Vision Statement for small Businesses?
The vision statement is an aspirational and inspirational statement of what your small business would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid-term or long-term future. It serves as a clear guide for choosing current and future courses of action.
The key elements of a good vision statement are:
- Future oriented / forward-looking
- Clarifies the business’s uniqueness, purpose and direction (reason for existence)
- Reflects the business’s culture and core values
- Sets standards of excellence
- Motivating and inspirational stimulating enthusiasm and commitment
An Example: “To be the Interior Design cyan/authority in Central Virginia and the source of all high-end things desirable, luxurious and unique to create stylish and beautiful living spaces driven by inspiration, innovation and imagination.”
What is a Mission Statement for Small Businesses?
A mission statement is a statement of the core purpose of your small business and why it exists. The mission statement is based on the vision statement and provides the pathway to realize the vision within your business values.
Your small business mission statement should include some of these elements:
- What is the principle business?
- What products/services will be provided?
- Who are the primary customers or target market?
- What is results/benefits in providing these products/services to your customers?
- What is geographical region of operation that will be served.
- What resources and technologies will be used?
- What are the desired performance levels?
An Example: “To be the preferred one-stop destination for residential and small commercial customers in central Virginia seeking expertise and assistance with all aspects of interior design by providing:
- interior and architectural design consulting services
- a unique selection of furniture and accessories
- learning opportunities and events
through experienced staff, local vetted trade professionals, leveraging Information Technology and by capitalizing on the established RVA brand.”
What is the difference between a vision and a mission statement?
The vision statement focuses on the future and what the small business wants to become. The mission statement focuses on today and what the small business does.
What is a Value Statement for Small Businesses?
Your small business values statement is an informative declaration what your business stands for and its top priorities. The value statement supports your small business vision, shape the business culture, and reflect business principles, core beliefs and values. Values provides the framework for setting norms, decision-making and priorities. It serves as a behind the scene guide on:
- How the business should be run
- How priorities will be set, and decisions made
- How employees are expected to behave and interact with one another
- How customers, stakeholders, community should be treated,
- How professional standards will be maintained.
It is important for small business owners to keep the value statement short. Depending on what is important for you as a small business, pick a few of these key concepts: adventurous, authenticity collaboration, commitment, compassion, consistency, courage, creativity, customer-centric, dependability, education, efficiency, environmentalism, fitness, fun, good humor, honesty, innovation, integrity, loyalty, motivation, open-mindedness, optimism, passion, patriotism, perseverance, positivism, reliability, respect, service to others, teamwork, etc.
“Value statement and guiding principles:
- Passion for pioneering interior design, embracing best practices and a dedication to the quality of human life within living spaces.
- Devotion to customer oriented interior design approaches that build long-term relationships routed in excellence and extraordinary customer/client service.
- Fostering creative design, collaboration and goodwill among interior and architecture design trade professions and residential, as well as, small commercial customers.
- Pursuing expert, value adding and quality driven professional interior design and architectural consultancy services to reflect the individual character and style of our customers.
- Building our unique brand of design furniture and accessories with an obsessive attention to elegance, detail, quality and value.
- Choosing our product lines carefully with a discerning eye specifically trained to current trends within our target market and consideration to various price points.
- Maintaining a friendly, fair and creative work and retail environment, welcoming new ideas and working hard to be successful in creating a profitable and sustainable business.
- Uncompromising commitment to honesty, integrity and accountability.
- Engaging in local communities and interior design organizations.”