If you're looking for how to plan differently for your small business, consider developing or revisiting your organizational strategy. It's a plan showing how you will intentionally organize business operations around a mission and vision. The plan will also need appropriate short-term and long-term goals.

Businesses should use a systematic approach to planning their organizational strategy. You could research and select from among different organizational strategies, but the mission and vision are common to many of them. A mission is a statement of the purpose of your company, including how it serves a specific need in a target market. A vision is a statement of what your company aspires to achieve, usually an overarching objective or long-term goal.

Pre-planning Considerations

In the beginning of the planning process, before setting the company's mission and vision, consider the internal and external environments in which you operate. For example, your analysis might include deciding which advantages your company has over competitors and then you should decide which strategic options to use to make the most of those advantages. Picking the best options means you're maximizing your advantages, not just sitting back and trusting the status quo to carry you forward successfully.

Importance of Mission

The mission is a statement that helps employees and customers understand why the company exists. You might have a mission that's similar to that of other companies in the same market, such as providing pizza to local customers. Or, your business could have a unique mission, such as selling a one-of-a-kind product that customers can't buy anywhere else. Update the mission when your company shifts away from current product or service offerings to new markets. It's important to keep the mission at the focus of organization strategy so you aren't wasting resources on extraneous business activities.

Importance of Vision

Employees may understand the mission of your company, but the vision will also link the mission to strategic business goals. A well-written vision will frame those strategic goals in a meaningful context, explaining to employees why those goals are good for business. For example, your vision may be to become your region's most preferred source for home-delivered pizza. Some businesses will use the strategic goals as long-term targets and will also describe their business model in more general terms. The final strategy is a roadmap for the staff, and they should work towards the business goals incrementally to attain your vision.