Developing a small business is always a challenge.

The value of strategic planning in developing a small business

When you've got a great idea for a small business, there will always be a temptation simply to dive in and begin selling your product without going through all of the planning stages. After all, if there's money out there to be made, why wait?

A carefully drawn strategy is the difference between a "flash in the pan" success and a lasting, thriving company.

The reality is, however, that careful planning is a key ingredient in any successful business venture. If you go in without a comprehensive strategy, you might be able to land a few sales in the opening weeks, but it will be difficult to sustain momentum. Moreover, if you encounter early wins, you might not have the framework in place to scale your operations. Therefore, a carefully drawn strategy could be the difference between a "flash in the pan" success and a lasting, thriving company.

Why planning is important

Everyone wants to ramp up quickly and build a successful business overnight, but sustainable growth is a long-term process. According to the Australian government's online resource, the key to business development is having a plan that sets clear priorities. Whatever you're trying to accomplish – be it a bold new marketing strategy, a new sales plan or what have you – you should have a clear order of operations and know what you need to do to stick to it.

Once you have your priorities in order, you can support your plans by securing financing and building your staff. It's important not to skip this step as, according to a recent Smart Company report, 61 per cent of small businesses that fail do so because of an inability to manage costs. In general, success is predicated upon having the to-do list already set for each stage of your business, so plan accordingly.

How to enter the planning process

The trick to planning for your small business is keeping an eye on both short-term and long-term goals. For instance, within the next quarter, you might want to add two new members to your team. That is an imminently achievable goal that you can make progress on today. In so doing, though, you can't lose track of the big picture.

Look for big-picture company goals.Look for big-picture company goals.

In your effort to achieve both granular "here and now" goals and long-term ones, it makes sense to have your entire team involved. This will help you balance different types of strategic plans and devise a strategy that incorporates the best of both worlds. You may also want to consider working with a business development consultant who's been through this process before and can help.

Get support from the professionals

Business development is always a challenge. Just making enough money to get by is one thing, but piling up enough to grow your company is another quest altogether. To overcome this, you might need the help of chartered accountants.

At Wilson Porter, we have a team of in-house experts who specialise in strategic planning. Meet with us today, and we'll get started discussing all your goals and how best to achieve them.