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Take the Business Health Check for yourself and learn more about each of the Strategy and Planning Business Best Practice Checklists
BB4G Business Advisor Alliance Members identified SIX Best Practice Areas within the Planning and Strategy Key Result Area.
- Strategic Planning
- Continuous Improvement
- Social Purpose
Benchmark your business health and get real clarity
Our online, checklist-based Business Health Check is free, easy to use and directly related to business profitability.
Learn more about the Checklists
Each of the checklists fit together in a four part process:
- Planning WHERE you want to go and WHY. (Purpose, Social Purpose, Vision and Goals).
- Deciding HOW you are going to get there (Values and Strategies).
- Working out WHAT you need to do, WHEN you need to do it and, if you have a team – WHO is responsible for getting it done (Strategic, Operational and Continuous Improvement Planning).
- IMPLEMENT, REVIEW, RINSE AND REPEAT: Monitoring and measuring your progress and revising your strategies and actions as needed.
Your Business Values
Shared values build brand loyalty. In a 2012 Harvard Business Review study 64% of consumers who said they have strong brand loyalty to a company cited shared values as the primary reason.
Your business values provide the framework within which your business engages with customers, employees, stakeholders ? all of its audiences ? and ultimately influences and shapes your company culture.
Your business’s values determine how business decisions and choices are made, the way your business acts, the kinds of clients or customers you attract and retain and the kinds of staff, suppliers, partners and associates you develop relationships with.
It is not enough to simply say what your values are in a few words: your values need to be directly linked to all of your business decisions and your business activities.Are your company values clearly stated, and directly linked to all of your business decisions and your business activities?
Your Business Purpose
In business terms, your purpose is the “WHY” that your business exists, and it’s the first vital step towards your brand’s differentiation.
Having clarity and focus on how you’ll communicate your purpose and to the world is one of the best ways for any business to differentiate and succeed.
When you lead with purpose, integrity follows. This is what everyone is searching for today ? someone to trust. If you think about the brands that have iconic status, it’s because of what they stand for that they are able to stand apart.
Today your purpose should underpin everything your brand stands for and does.
According to a recent article in The Future of Customer Engagement and Experience consumers expect more from the brands they buy from than ever before, and an ethical supply chain is now a requirement in the experience economy.
Here are some questions that consumers are asking about brands and their supply chains:
❓ Do you trust your suppliers and supply chain partners? Do they keep their word regarding ethics and morals, regardless of possible additional costs?
❓ Does each link in the supply chain take care of its workers with fair pay, sustainable work loads, and ethical work conduct?
❓ Is the sourcing of materials done from sources with renewable or low impact extraction methods? Is this certified?
❓ If unethical behavior is discovered, how will it be remedied? Will each partner in the supply chain actively work to make sure it’s corrected?
According to the Edelman 2018 Earned Brand Study, https://www.edelman.com/earned-brand out of two consumers are belief-driven buyers. Or as Edelman puts it, “buying on belief is now the new normal.”
As a small business, it’s important to tell the world or your local community how you are making a difference. NOT in a cynical way, only to get more customers, but because you really care.
It’s a WIN WIN
☑️ Cause marketing helps the world. WARNING: You must be authentic and believe in the cause you stand behind. Choose the cause(s) you support carefully – they should be consistent with your mission and values and matter to you, your team AND to your clients.
☑️ It helps your business, adding purpose to your marketing helping your business distinguish itself from competitors.
At The Better Business for Good Company we’ve aligned our mission of ensuring every small business has the knowledge and support they need to succeed with the mission of our Impact Partner Just Peoples https://www.justpeoples.org/ to eliminate world poverty.
Your Business Vision
Your vision, quite simply, is a picture of what success will be at a particular time in the future. It’s about what you want to become, and along with your purpose, it is the overarching driver for your business.
Running a business is a big job, and the biggest challenge is to succeed. So what can you do to move forward, create positive change, reinvigorate yourself and your staff, and where should you start?
If you define your future, you will be able to see the path more clearly. That’s the role of your business vision.
Strategic and Operational Planning
Best practice businesses have a strong continuous strategic planning and business action planning process.
Strategic planning is the process of determining the vision for the future of the business as well as the identifying the business goals and objectives in line with that vision. Most strategic plans look three to five years ahead.
The Business Action Plan is linked to the strategic plan, it clearly documents the business goals and objectives for the next 12 months and specifies the ways in which those goals will be achieved.
Strategic plans and business action plans are not static documents but living documents that need to be revisited on a regular basis as part of the ongoing business action planning and review process.
Continuous improvement is the ongoing improvement of your business products, services and processes through incremental and breakthrough improvements, designed to improve quality, reduce costs and create new opportunities.
Continuous improvement doesn’t only relate to the quality of your products or services but also the way you run your business.
Any business that wants to be considered a market leader will have a continuous improvement plan as part of their overall business strategic plan.