At HJS Accountants we can provide businesses in the Southampton area with advice and support on a wide range of business issues. Here are some tips on strategic planning...

Strategic planning is important and clear goals and objectives are essential for a business to achieve sustained growth and profitability. But for such exercises to be effective you must be ruthless in maintaining focus and achieving measurable results.

Try applying these golden rules to your next strategy session:

Keep a strategic focus

Abandon the fire-fighting mode and emphasise what is important rather than what is urgent. Set goals that look at least a year ahead.

Identify the vital few

The 80:20 rule applies as much to goal setting as it does to any other aspect of your business. For every ten goals proposed, two or three will be of overriding strategic importance. However worthy your list of goals might be, you have to be ruthless in reducing them to just two or three. Any more than this and the business will lose strategic focus.

Insist on measurability

Whenever a goal is proposed force the question, 'How will we know when this goal is achieved?' If you cannot quantify the process and specify the metrics you do not have an attainable goal.

Spell out an action plan

This is where the rubber hits the road - the specific list of to-do's that will translate words into actions and actions into results.

Focus all major resources on achieving the agreed goals

Now is the time to be ruthless and totally focused on ensuring the goals are achieved. Direct all your financial, human, and technical resources to this end and treat everything else as distraction.

Apply the acid test to all decisions, activities, and use of resources: Does this help us achieve our key goals? If the answer is 'Yes', support it, if not, avoid it.

If you are in the Southampton area and are looking for help and support from experienced business advisers, contact HJS Accountants.

Southampton Office

12-14 Carlton Place
Southampton
Hampshire
SO15 2EA

Tel: 02380 234 222

Winchester Office

6 Charlecote Mews
Staple Gardens
Winchester
SO23 8SR

Tel: 01962 842000

Reading Office

3 Richfield Place
Richfield Avenue
Reading, Berkshire
RG1 8EQ

Tel: 0118 9511 115

London Office

90 Long Acre
Covent Garden
London
WC2E 9RZ

Tel: 0203 470 0777