As a business owner or manager, you undoubtedly already know the frustrating statistics surrounding new business longevity. Or lack thereof. Many small businesses won't make it past the first year and the majority of all businesses won't make it past the first five years. Why? Because starting up and running a business is difficult. No matter what industry you are in. The good news is that the right strategic planning software can help you on your journey.
Strategic software is so important and so vital to the modern business precisely because so many new businesses flounder due to their inability to properly assess and plan for market changes, disruptions, and more. Just consider the following key common business mistakes that can be avoided by simply including the right strategy execution software:
- Using current situations as a basis for future limitations. It is so common for new business owners and entrepreneurs to see their current situation and make plans for that current situation to always exist. However, the businesses that succeed are most often those who don't see their current limitations as limitations. They plan for the long-term. New people, new business plans, new markets all can assist one in overcoming existing limitations. With strategic planning systems, teams and businesses can better plan for the future while not staying trapped in the present mentality.
- Too many goals in too short of time. It is good to have goals, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Having too many goals means you will often have competing or contradicting goals, and the limited time window can mean that you spread your team and your business too thin. The good news is that a strategic planning app or program can help with the planning goals phase as well as goal tracking. This works to ensure a business makes smart goal-making decisions and has the features to make tracking and performance analysis on those goals easy.
- Not measuring performance. This is a big one. So many new businesses falter because they never take the time to measure any of their progress. The business instead is too focused on staying afloat and reacting to things in the present but not looking to make changes to take present realities to future possibilities. Great strategic planning software includes key performance tools like metrics to analyze KPIs and assist a business to build OKRs that seamlessly integrate performance measurements.
Communicate and Cascade Strategy
The core issue that's at the heart of all the above common problems and more is poor communication. Good communication is the heartbeat of any company of any size of any industry. Just consider how many times you have to communicate something about a project to someone else; how often what you do relies on the information your team gives you. Thus it is integral for every company to have the communication in place to properly cascade strategy. One of the best ways of doing so is by evaluating a list of the best strategic planning tools and implementing the strategic planning software that makes sense for your business.
The best strategic planning happens when the facts of your company’s performance are properly brought forth, benefits outlined, challenges discussed, and then teams act and react accordingly. Strong strategic planning applications are designed to make communicating all across an organization easy and stress-free. The best strategic planning tools do this by:
- Organizing all data in a single place. Instead of running around, making constant calls, or insisting on hourly email updates, strategic planning applications start with improving communication across the board by putting everything in one platform.
- Easy visualization of communication and strategic plans. In addition to putting data in one place, the best strategic planning tools feature integrated visualization features. For example, team members can easily publish study trends via line charts or pie charts that make data easier to read and improve communication about a specific subject. Being able to easily use tools to transform static data into appealing visuals is important no matter what industry your business is. That's because things like graphs, bullet-point lists, and PowerPoint presentations have repeatedly been shown to enhance communication and improve memory retention. Both of these improve overall employee productivity which contributes to more effective business protocols.
- Integrated tracking and reporting tools. Strategic Planning software incorporates actionable dashboards where users can easily track trends and events. This is ideal for companies who are using OKRs and KPIs who need a central place to both publish their goals and methodologies for obtaining them as well as a place to track how the team and company are progressing towards those goals or objectives.
Features You Need in Dynamic Strategic Planning Solutions
As you start shopping for strategic planning solutions and initiative management software, you are going to find a lot out on the market. Simply note that not every strategy management software is built the same. While our experience has led to us incorporating many of the main features in Elate, including the very sought-after one-page strategic plan template that helps businesses with strategic planning from the ground up, there are some really great options out there.
But no matter which strategic planning software you choose for your company, make sure they can offer you the following key features:
- Custom goal setting with scenario planning. Remember, one of the biggest mistakes new businesses make is thinking current limitations are always limitations. Having strategic planning solutions that allow you to consider and anticipate various business scenarios and in doing so, will your team overcome that known hurdle. Good software solutions for this will also include the capability to create unique goals defined by your own criteria.
- Chart, graph, and diagram templates that are easy to use. This is another thing we discussed above as it is one of the very unique and yet integral aspects of any initiative management software. In fact, if there is one thing to choose one product over another on, this is it. That's because using the right charts and being able to have team members who aren't that tech-savvy easily put their information into user-intuitive graphs and charts is invaluable. These visualizations are an incredible way to get hard data across and help propel the business forward.
- Historical data aggregation. Software solutions are great because they can easily automate and aggregate data within just a few clicks of a button. complete data analysis in seconds what used to take weeks of study. Our own strategic planning software at Elate is proud to include tools that make it easy to collect and track both KPI and OKR metrics.
- Process and performance monitoring. All types of strategy execution management software should include monitoring features. After all, one of the primary goals of this type of software is to make strategic planning by businesses easier, more efficient, and ultimately more productive and the best way to do all of that is with proper monitoring features. Monitoring features make it possible to track where one is on any series of goals or objectives and it can help track how previous tasks were at achieving said goals and objectives.
- Budgeting and forecasting. Not every software of this type on the market includes this, but the great ones do. Having everything incorporated in one software package further helps to keep business data organized.
- Predictive models and simulations. Custom model creation is something you will find in more advanced strategic planning software like ours at Elate. Just as it is important to create static visualizations like charts and diagrams, so too is it important to create simulations and modeling. Predictive models and simulations allow businesses to simulate different potential strategies. You can also add in different variables and see for yourself what your business might expect.
Choose the Best Strategic Planning Software: Choose Elate
Here at Elate, our developers and team members have had the exact same struggles and frustrations many businesses have when starting a new venture. In fact, it is because of our experiences that we combined talents to create a robust, multi-purposeful platform through which other businesses can better succeed.
Through our best strategic planning software, businesses can:
- Easily and beautifully set out a company vision and goals. Our gorgeous, user-intuitive software has been designed to make it easy for managers and teams to set and create goals. From the very first page, set the system to display your company vision and upcoming objectives.
- Drive more efficient teamwork with transparency. Remember, cascading communication is key to business success and efficiency. Elate's strategic planning dashboard makes it easy to cascade objectives throughout your business's various teams and departments. This streamlines communication and enables effective collaboration between departments and even individuals within those departments.
- Better track performance. Dashboard tools make it easy to first plan out objectives but then also, even more importantly, follow up on how those objectives are being met. Users can set up notifications and alerts as key reminders for team members to check-in, input present data, and see how well objectives are being met. Or simply how much progress is being met. This consistent tracking of performance helps prevent teams from getting sidetracked.
- Prioritize business strategy and leadership meetings. The Elate dashboard was built primarily as software to track strategic planning. As such, we put in a lot of features that make it possible to build up executive scorecards and improve both business meetings and overall business goals.
So are you ready to see the difference that a robust strategic planning software can have on your business and goals? Let our team be the one to show you that difference. Contact us today to learn how to set up your business for success with this program.