If you are a business owner and you are getting yourself ready for growth this year, then most likely you are getting ready to scale up.
When putting your tech strategy together, it’s really important to make sure that you don’t make costly mistakes.
Growing as a business is good, but you need to make sure that you are ready to accept growth in your business.
Can you cope with new customers? Do you have the processes and plans in place?
The last thing that you want is to grow at a pace that you cannot handle, and fall flat on your face!
In my blog post and podcast last week, I took you through a 5 step process to develop your tech strategy.
To recap, the steps are:
- Select somebody that you trust who is not in your business
- Set-up interviews between them and the members of your team
- Ensure they ask your team the right questions – what is their biggest challenge? How would they do it differently? What is holding them back? They need to repeat the questions until the team member runs out of ideas – 20-30 minutes per person
- Don’t get stuck in technology – look for patterns in the processes
- Create a list and rank it in importance
If you have done this already then hopefully you gained a considerable amount of clarity on your business. You will have a good idea of what you need to do this year at a strategic level, but now you need to put a plan in place.
How do you get your plan together?
There is a 4 step process to creating your plan.
- Define your mission: What is the single mission for your business? For example, if you are an online shop selling garden furniture then your number one mission is to sell garden furniture. It may seem simple but people can get hung up on distractions and forget what their mission really is. Look at your mission as your annual plan.
- Define your objectives: What are the objectives that are going to make a really big difference this year? I recommend choosing 4 key objectives – 1 per quarter. For example, coming back to the online shop selling garden furniture, one objective for quarter 1 could be to get a single view of the customer. Look at your objectives as a way of setting-up as your quarterly plan.
- Work out your strategy for achieving your objectives: You have defined your objective, now it’s time to work out how you can achieve it. Coming back to the online garden furniture shop, if they want to obtain a single view of their customer, this may involve interrogating their multiple customer databases and creating a single database. As a tip, I recommend having (at least) 12 strategies – 1 strategy per month. Look at them as your monthly plans.
- Develop tactics – what are you going to do on a week-by-week or day-by-day basis to achieve the goals set out in your plans? You have a strategy but how are you going to implement it? For example, coming back to the online garden furniture shop example again, you may need to define the various steps involved in migrating customer records from one database to another – who is going to do what, when and how? Look at this as your daily tasks.
Get your team aligned
Every week you should meet with your team, and ensure that they take tasks forward for the week ahead that are aligned to the overall plan. This is a critical step in moving forward.
The process that I have taken you through here is nothing new. It may be considered ‘old school’. But I promise you, it’s the simple stuff that works! These methods are tried and tested and have proven they work over many decades. I have seen this first hand more times than I can remember.
Get my free Tech Strategy Planning Guide
I have developed a free downloadable guide that takes you end-to-end through the entire process. My template will help you to get your strategy defined, as covered in episode 1 of my podcast and in last week’s blog post.
Plus, it takes you through everything covered in today’s article and episode 2 of my podcast – turning your strategy into a plan.
You can use my Tech Strategy Planning Guide to get your tech plan in place for 2018 – click here to download.
I would love to see what you are planning for the year. Please also go ahead and join my Facebook Group. In the group I am available to answer questions and I go-live on a weekly basis.
Here’s a video where I talk all about this topic: