How do successful entrepreneurs balance the best of strategy with the flexibility of grabbing a great opportunity that presents itself in the moment? Entrepreneurs are so busy working in the business, that they hardly find time to work on the business. The answer lies in an agile and flexible plan that provides a basis for sound decision making in a competitive environment.
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Successful entrepreneurs are embracing lean start-up concepts that focuses on tools that are simple, visual and easy to use. Here are a few tips for creating a simple, yet agile strategic plan:
1. Creating a compelling vision
This is a clear vivid picture of where you see your business in three to ten years’ time. The strength and clarity of your vision can make the difference between being drawn towards the future or being bogged down in your current reality.
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2. Understand your environment
The greatest mistake entrepreneurs make is to ignore their business environment. Using strategic tools like the PESTLE and SWOT analysis can help you to maximise strengths and opportunites and minimise threats and weakneses. Be aware of trends and follow thought leaders in your field to stay ahead and respond to market forces.
3. Model your ideas
The Business Canvas is one of the most effective agile strategy tools. It allows you to model and test your business ideas quickly and cost effectively. It helps you to refine who your customers are and how to engage with them to get the best business results.
It connects the external customer relationship with the internal resource and cost structure to support your marketing and product strategies. The Strategyzer website and their YouTube videos are a must visit for all entrepreneurs!
4. Set focused strategic goals
The law of three applies here. Set three compelling strategic magnets that will help you achieve your vision. Break these three big goals into three small goals each. Any more can be overwhelming. This focused approach helps you to allocate your limited resources wisely.
5. Create an agile roadmap
One of the key concepts of lean thinking is to visualise! Instead of managing to-do- lists, consider using an Agile RoadMap. Plot your major milestones on a wall chart on post-it notes that you can move.
This gives you the flexibility to move and re-prioritise deadlines by simply rearranging the post-its. This way the roadmap remains relevant and becomes a valuable planning tool that keeps the important stuff top of mind.
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The roadmap to the next level
Get the best of both worlds by combining the strategic principles that make the best businesses great and the agility to redesign and reframe strategy in a fast-moving entrepreneurial world. A simple but effective strategy will be the roadmap to take your business to the next level.