When it comes time to evaluate your company mid-year, there is a simple three step approach that allows you to strategically plan for the rest of the year. This approach is called the Stop-Keep-Start approach. It involves three internal business questions:
- What do we need to STOP doing?
- What do we need to KEEP doing?
- What do we need to START doing?
The STOP phase of this approach is where you recognize what strategies are no longer working for the business; maybe these strategies are no longer profitable, or maybe there is no longer a need for the service. Choosing to stop means that the organization recognizes that there are better uses of their resources and this allows them to explore other options!
The KEEP phase represents the evaluation of the things that ARE working in your business, and how to optimize those success factors to be even more successful. The products, processes, and services, that are running smoothly should be analyzed to determine what parts are making it so successful, why it is successful, and how you can leverage that expertise into other areas of your business.
The last phase is the START phase which represents the future of your organization. Based on performance in the first half of the year, trends in the market, competitive analysis, and research, decide what you want to add to your business model to make it more successful. Invent new products and services, venture into new areas, develop new strategies, or start a new division! Whatever it is that you start, ask yourself, will this reach the stop phase in 1 year? 2 years? How can you keep it in the keep phase?
So, if you don’t have the time and money to invest in a formal strategic planning process, I urge you to try this 3-step approach! It encourages you to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, while also allowing room for growth! Happy planning!