Those of us who derive our income from tax preparation continue to face the challenges of fierce competition and seasonality. We know the tax business and how to operate profitably as we’ve always done. But we are now faced with unprecedented threats posed by legislation and technology. These new trends will radically change the way we’ve always done business. Strategic business planning has always been a good idea for every entrepreneur. However, for tax practitioners, planning is no longer optional–it is a necessity to prepare for the radical changes we face in the years ahead.
Why a Strategic Plan?
Why should you as an entrepreneur spend many hours of your scarce time developing a written strategic plan? After all, you have a vision for your company and your plan is in your head.
One good reason is to ensure that someone else can pick up the ball and run with it if something happens to you. But even with you in the picture, you should develop a written strategic business plan for the following reasons:
- The discipline of putting your plan in writing will force you to think through every aspect of our business, thereby enabling you to identify and clarify obstacles and opportunities, determine areas in which you need professional help, set goals, and refine strategies and tactics.
- Communicating your vision to your associates is essential for them to make meaningful contributions to the business.
- Few lenders or investors will give you money unless you have a comprehensive written business plan.
Your business cannot remain static and survive; it must continue to grow or begin to atrophy and eventually die. In today’s ever-changing business environment, a long-range strategic plan is essential to ensure continuing growth and survival.
Writing Your Strategic Plan
You should start by designing an outline to fit the needs of your company, then research and write the plan section by section. You cannot delegate this project. As the CEO, you must be actively involved in the process. Only you, the entrepreneur, have the knowledge and vision necessary to develop a meaningful plan for your company. Yet you need objective input from others who are not as close to the business as you. Such input might be obtained by utilizing the free resources of your local college(s) to help you develop your strategic plan. Most business schools encourage the faculty to have their students work on real world business projects. This is a win-win scenario for the students, the companies, the college, and the community. The key to a successful project is the knowledge, dedication and teaching skill of the professor.
Developing a strategic business plan is no small task. But it’s a project that’s well worth your effort. A strategic plan, if it is properly done, can help to ensure your long-term survival and prosperity. As with any major project, planning is not so ominous when broken down into smaller tasks that can be completed one step at a time. The fastest way to finish something is to start. So what are you waiting for?
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