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We’re almost there.  I’ve spent six weeks trying to lay out a long-term strategy development process that isn’t overwhelming (I hope).  I’ve tried to break things into pieces that you and your business can attack one at a time.  We’ve thought about Patrons (clients), Products, Promotion (marketing and sales), People and Profit. 

Now for the grand finale: Processes.  I think I can hear you groaning.  Processes are the part that doesn’t sound like fun.  To a lot of business leaders that sounds like busywork, like something the lower level staff (or worse: accountants) should be focused on.  The reality, however, is that Processes are the way you’re going to make all those other things happen.  While I wouldn’t necessarily suggest that the CEO should spend all of his or her time writing procedures manuals, the leader of a successful business has to understand the importance of developing (and then following) the right Process.

In addition, in today’s world, the “right Process” is only the right process momentarily.  The only long-lasting “right Process” anymore is constant change and constant improvement.  You have to create a culture in your business whereby everything you do, from design, to production, to marketing, to sales, to HR, to accounting, to everything else, is constantly under scrutiny.  Is this the most efficient and effective way to do this?  About everything being done in your business ask yourself:  Is this necessary?  Who should do this?  Is there a better way?

Hopefully the outline laid out in this series of posts gives you a start towards planning and developing strategy for your business.  It’s still hard work and often requires help, but it’s much simpler if you can break it into parts.  Remember that actions have to be a part of any successful planning process.  “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory.  Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” (Sun Tzu).

Happy planning!

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