The election is over and the 45th president of the United States will be sworn into office this week. Regardless of your political affiliation, a dynamic shift is upon us. We are transitioning from eight years of Democratic policy to a new era of Republican leadership. In addition to the change in party lines, we will have the first president in office that is one of the most recognized business names in the world and promises to run the government more like a business.
So now what do we do to prepare for any changes in the business climate?
Put your pen to paper and get moving on your strategic plan. This means that if you have not yet established a plan for your business, you can consider the priority here to be that of critical. If you have a strategic plan in place but have not looked at it in the last three to five years, you are not getting off easy. Understand that what we have grown used to in the last eight years in terms of policy, legislation, business structure, and taxation, are all likely to change. This also means that any planning you have done as it relates to the prior administration, probably will need to be revisited and adjusted accordingly.
Consider the changes we have seen in the last eight years. One of the most significant, and one that continues to advance at a rapid pace, is in technology. It is a far cry ahead today, of where it was even just five years ago, and it permeates every area of our lives and business. The advancement of digital menu boards/signage, the ability to order from mobile devices, or tablets from your establishment (which could mean needing less hourly staff), as well as in the way we do business as it relates to how we communicate. Technology is just one very small, but highly impactful example of the change we have seen in a few short years. Were you prepared for how technology was going to change how you do business?
Strategic planning actualizes the vision and confirms the direction of your business and ensures you are prepared for changes. It allows you to be agile and flexible when change is upon you by focusing on the long-term success, which is dependent upon achieving alignment of your resources that includes time, people, and money, with obligations, commitments, vision, and goals. A key piece of this is analyzing with your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) in your business. This SWOT analysis is one of the most critical components given the political changes that are taking place. The opportunities and threats of the past are likely much different than what they are going to be in the next three to five years, and these can have a direct impact on your internal strengths and weaknesses.
The value of strategic planning is that it provides an environment for owners, partners, and key managers to evaluate the core values, priorities, and resources while working towards common goals for the franchise entity in the areas of:
If you don't know where you are going, any road can look attractive. Taking the wrong road could mean that your franchise business is not where you intend it to be in the future. Without strategic planning, especially when change is inevitable, success is hard to sustain, and in some instances even obtain.
Imagine what change is to come in the next four years. Are you prepared?
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