How Often Should You Change Your Business Strategy?
How often are you updating your strategy? How often should you be updating it? Every month? Every year? It can be difficult to know what is the ideal timeframe to work with—after all, every business is unique and has a unique strategy.
We’re here to finally put that question to rest. This is what you need to know:
EVERY QUARTER, ON THE QUARTER
Your business strategy should be updated every 90 days. For some readers, that may seem rather frequently—and you’d be right. But what you have to remember is that the every-quarter rule has been developed for the modern world. Once upon a time, you might have been able to get away with changing your strategy less often, but the reality is that the here-and-now is full of change. Agility is the name of the game in modern business, and the company that falls behind stays behind.
That’s why you need to be looking at adjusting your strategy—or at the very least evaluating your current direction—every 90 days. You should be setting up to three new projects every quarter anyway, and this is an opportune time to take another look at your three-year goals as well. Are they still achievable? How far along the journey are you? What potential threats are you going to be encountering? What weaknesses does your business still need to overcome? What about threats? Opportunities? Take the time to consider these questions, perhaps even do a full SWOT analysis.
The quarterly frequency is ideal. It’s long enough that you can get things done—and therefore give yourself enough data to figure out where the kinks and weaknesses are—but still regular enough to keep up that momentum and agility. A lot can happen in three months: Dick Smith, one of the largest electronic retailers in New Zealand, was sold in just under four. With a frequent, regular strategy adjustment and execution schedule, you can stay on top of your game and keep a weather eye on the horizon for any incoming threats to your three-year plans.
WHO SHOULD YOU BE PLANNING WITH?
Too many cooks can spoil a broth, and the same is true for strategic planning. Consider who should be included in the process: having too many people can stretch out the planning, in terms of complexity and length, while having too few can make it difficult for people to feel like they own their given metrics.
You shouldn’t change business strategy on your own, but neither should you include everyone from executives down to regular team members. Stick to your core team when planning out these 90-day strategy sessions: your managers and subject experts, and the key employees who are looking after the most important leading metrics for your business. The people who plan the fight don’t fight the plan, so they say, and by involving your core team you are ensuring that your A-team is able to help the business move forward quickly and easily.
If you haven’t taken the time to update your strategic plan and set up three new projects for execution in the last 90 days, then now is the perfect time to do so. Gather your best and brightest, re-evaluate your quarterly strategy, and start pushing your company beyond “business-as-usual”.
For more techniques that will help you take true control of your business’ future, check out our free ebook below.
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