Does Your Strategic Business Plan Need to Pivot?

Article by Michael Noon


For many business owners, the last three months have been the most challenging in the life of their business. As we approach the new financial year, there’s the perfect opportunity to review your current strategic business plan and determine if it needs to be altered due to the economic impact of COVID-19.

Before you consider altering your business strategy, a business needs to understand their key challenges for the year ahead, prioritise the important ones, and understand where you are NOW in respect of the factors contributing to each challenge.

Steps to Follow

1. Define Your Current Business Challenges

The first step in this process is to define your current challenges for the year ahead and prioritise them in order of importance. These challenges might include:

  • Working capital management
  • Customer loss
  • Failing product strategy
  • A decline in profitability

This will give you a clear view of your business’ pain points so you can alter or develop strategies to deal with your new business challenges.


2. Identify the Key Factors Within Each Challenge

For each challenge, identify 5 – 10 key factors that are contributing to the issue and rate your business’ current performance with respect to each factor on a scale of 1-10.

For example, if the most important challenge to your business is a deteriorating working capital position, the key contributing factors might include;

  • Increasing accounts receivable days
  • Slow moving inventory lines
  • Shipping delays

For each factor above, score your business’ current performance on a scale of 1 -10.

Once you understand your present position in respect of the key factors, you are then able set a goal as to WHERE you would like the business to be in respect of the same key factors.

To address capital management challenges, read our blog, cash flow crisis management: best practice tips


3. Review your Strategic Business Plan

The last step is to review your current strategic plan and determine if existing strategies need to be changed, or new strategies need to be added, to address your business challenges.

When reviewing the current strategies and assessing if they will address the new challenges, you will also need to carefully review the underlying actions implementing each strategy.

By altering the strategies, the underlying actions and implementation timeframes will also likely need to change.

All new strategies will require actions with clear accountability and agreed implementation timeframes.


What if I Don’t Have a Strategic Plan?

If your business does not have a Strategic Plan, you may just be planning to fail in this difficult economic setting.

An effective Strategic Plan is not a voluminous document that is stored in the cloud, and rarely opened or reviewed.

An effective Strategic Plan is a concise document that clearly outlines where your business is NOW, and WHERE your business needs to be over an agreed time frame (e.g. 3 years, 5 years). Your Strategic Plan is also a document that clearly defines HOW you will achieve your business goals, through the implementation of strategies and actions, with clear accountability and agreed implementation time frames.


Contact SRJ Walker Wayland for Advice

The SRJ Walker Wayland team is here to help businesses through these uncertain times. We have compiled a range of business survival resources that will provide further information on the Cash key point.

If you require business advisory assistance, we can work together with you to put together a logical and practical plan for overcoming adversity. Please contact us or our office on 07 3490 9988 if you need assistance preparing your next Strategic Business Plan.