Moving From Planning To Executing
No one really knows the outcome of anything and we are seeing that play out in our country’s current political stage. Too often this keeps us from strategically planning for where we want our business to go and what we want from it in the future. However, the unknowns and the unpredictable should not keep us from looking forward, rather, they enforce the need to constantly be planning strategically towards your goals and vision.
We use excuses such as “the unknowns” to stop us from executing plans. Or believe that because we cannot predict something, we cannot guarantee if we will be successful or not. However, not planning and not executing means that we are in limbo, which means the odds of accomplishing great things are pretty bleak. Strategic planning guarantees that you place your franchise business in the position of being agile and flexible when the unknowns and the unpredictable hits. This is a much better alternative than yo-yoing with the market and political changes over which we have no control.
What we know is that there are always threats to our business, but with those threats we identify the opportunities to carry us forward. Executing a well-defined strategic plan helps franchise owners continue to move forward and grow, with a vision and mission that is clearly defined. It also allows owners to focus on what we do know, rather than getting crippled by what we do not know.
For example, when we look at the franchise industry, we know that current legislative changes and executive orders will change the way we have been doing business during the last decade. We also know that there is a strong potential that the announcement of Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants as Secretary of Labor will benefit multi-unit franchisees and ultimately continue to boost the growth of the industry.
So then, now that you have no excuses to develop your strategic plan, you also have to execute.
- Embrace that understanding what we do not know is a very important aspect of business planning. There will always be unknowns but planning for them is critical for you to be able to move with the market in a positive and successful way. Strategic succession planning is fundamentally about considering and preparing for the possible, predictable, and potential.
- Recognize that threats can come from many different angles, both the known and unknown, and plan accordingly so that you can be agile and flexible during change. We cannot discount what we know, nor can we ignore that which we don’t.
- Understand the importance of having the right team in place to help you execute your plan. This includes recruiting and retention efforts for the future of your franchise, as well as relationships with key business advisors to help you navigate change and unknowns.
- Evaluate your plan after developing and executing to ensure that you are changing your direction as the environment is changing – this is simple and effective, but rarely done because it seems confusing. Think of it this way. As your buying demographic changes, your menu or product offerings have to change to meet demand. We have to do the same with our strategic plan because we know that unknowns are just that, until they are known.
Planning for the predictable, probable, and possible can be reality when you engage in developing, executing, and evaluating the strategic plan of your business. Change is inevitable and there are always unknowns and the unpredictable that we have to navigate. However, change and positioning your business to handle the unknowns brings great wealth in knowledge and experience to help better plan for the future.
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