Tips for Developing a Business Strategy for the Long Term

Everyone with a business, or a plan for a business, wants it to flourish and grow for the long term – possibly to be passed on to the upcoming generation, years down the road. However, we see many businesses fail – there can be many reasons for this, but an important one is lack of long-range planning. In the bustle of everyday priorities when running a business, it can be easy to lose the long view, and that can cause trouble even when things seem to be going well in the short term. That is where developing a business strategy for the long term comes in.

Developing a Business Strategy with Taggart & Partners

Taggart & Partners understands these challenges to setting a business strategy. We’ve helped a great many business owners integrate their immediate needs with sound planning for the future – and had the satisfaction of seeing our clients prosper. As one of the leading business accountants Brisbane offers, we are business advisors and tax planners – we have the tools and resources to get your business started on a long and rewarding future. Reach out to Taggart & Partners by calling (07) 3391 1188, e-mailing or getting in touch online.

Setting a Business Strategy

Successful business strategy in developed form can be as varied and different as the people and the firm, but all start from some common points of reference.

Define Your Vision

A big-sounding concept, but when creating a business strategy, the vision only needs to be big enough to fit the business. It is expressed in the original reasons for getting started, and then in ideas of what the future should look like. Which markets? What products? What customer base? How are we reaching them? Why will they be our customers rather than the competition? These and many more are the kinds of specifics to visualise so we can guide change and growth as they turn into present reality.

What is Your Difference?

Many excellent businesses fail to make themselves stand out from the crowd. They may have great advantages that the owner is aware of, but often don’t succeed in communicating that to their customer base – and most importantly, to their potential customer base. As the world keeps changing and moving on, a business that doesn’t keep its light shining will eventually lose pace. This doesn’t have to mean constant innovation – that can be expensive and risky, and some business models are about steady reliability rather than the latest and greatest. Either way, we will need to give a lot of thought to how to keep communicating the unique best points of the business to the public in a memorable way.

Be Flexible

Developing a business strategy is a process that will continue for as long as the business continues. It is the dynamic companies ready to change with new events in their markets that remain able to grow and benefit from external change rather than getting left behind. This will become an important part of corporate culture – addressing change on a regular basis, perhaps in a monthly meeting. Executives and managers should come to these meetings prepared, rather than using them to get up to speed.

Update Long Term Plans Frequently

Today more than ever, it’s necessary to keep ahead of the future as it comes rushing toward us. Always be ready to consider how recent changes may affect the business landscape. Look for the small signs that herald big movements. The big things can be hard to see until they have already happened. The little things are around us all the time. Part of the expertise of management should be in seeing and recognising what will affect the business and getting ahead of the changes.

Rely on Facts

Often what we think we know can be much different than the way the world actually is. It can be difficult to get the information needed to chart the future course of a growing business. Partnering with an experienced business advisor, you can leverage their sources and capabilities to illuminate the business landscape and ensure your decision-making in setting a business strategy is real-world based.

Make Everyone a Stakeholder

The company’s goals should not be a secret. When you’ve set your course, let everyone know where the company is going. All employees can have a role to play. Get them on board and listen to their ideas – sometimes it’s the people with the view from the bottom who see things missed by those at the top. When he was building Walmart into one of the world’s great brands, Sam Walton made time to speak personally with any Walmart employee who took the trouble to come and see him.

A suggestion box can be just as effective, for ongoing operations, and for developing a business strategy – most ideas may not be very practical but implementing a few of the better (or more harmless) ones, in a way that can be seen, shows that management is listening – and that involvement by the workforce in the company’s vision means something.

Measure Results

Once you have identified the key vision points, track the company’s progress in moving toward those goals. Monthly meetings – for which everyone comes prepared – keep the process visible, allow for productive crosstalk between departments, and for insights and experiences to be shared. At a growing company, the vision will always be up ahead – it’s all about the process and the journey.

Work With Experts

When setting a business strategy, rely on a trusted business advisor – they will bring a wealth of knowledge and practical know-how to support your efforts. Taggart & Partners can show you how businesses like yours have moved successfully from working day by day to operating across a broad timeline, directing their activities toward a future full of their most desired outcomes. This is a great time to get started. Reach out to Taggart & Partners by calling (07) 3391 1188, e-mailing or getting in touch online.

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