Now is the Time to Create a 3-5-7 Year Plan
Balancing the day-to-day needs of managing inventories, salaries, and costs is challenging enough for a small business owner, and few feel that they have the time to sit down and create an effective and forward thinking 3-5-7 year plan. However, the current business climate requires one to consider how to make the most of today’s revenues to ensure future success.
Consider the trends of your industry, your company’s past performance, and your strategy to stay competitive. Ask the following questions:
- What are the challenges for my industry today?
- How will these challenges change over the next 3-5-7 years?
- Is the forecast for my industry on an upward, downward, or stable trend?
- How does the industry at large communicate its challenges and/or successes to clients and the marketplace?
- What are the strengths of my business that mitigate these challenges and enhance my business over the competition?
- Do I effectively communicate these strengths to my clients/customers?
- How quickly has my business grown since its inception?
- Has this growth met my expectations? Why or why not?
- Have the current economic climate changed the margins for my business?
- Have the current economic conditions impacted my ability to fund staffing such that I am challenged to meet client/customer expectations?
As you consider the above questions, begin layering the answers into columns labeled year 3, year 5, and year 7. You won’t be able to answer all of the questions for each of these benchmark years, but it will help you focus on where you need to lend additional consideration to certain aspects of your business. Consider this exercise as a basic health check of your current situation, and as a means of evaluating what next steps are required to enhance your growth and competitive strategy.
Kirsten Francissen – JKBAY Consultancy