4 Critical Questions

Strategic Planning

Most Funeral Home Owners Today Find Themselves Simply Trying To Manage Their Decline

I have come to believe that most small business owners don’t plan for several reasons

  • It seems complicated and unreliable
  • Their resources (especially time) are limited
  • They have lost confidence the rest of their team can be engaged
  • They have a partner who won’t cooperate
  • Planning implies controlling and their business seems too vulnerable to uncontrollable factors
  • They like working out of their hip pocket and reacting to things as they come along
  • They don’t really see the benefit

Unfortunately, there are consequences when you fail to think about your future and make appropriate adjustments.

I also wonder if the real underlying reason for failure to plan is they don’t know where to start AND they intuitively feel they need a fresh set of eyes to help them look at the problem.

Small business owners want a plan that is

  • simple to understand,
  • reality-based,
  • fits their resources and,
  • will engage their staff.

4 questions

I find it helps to frame the issue in 4 separate questions. These questions are designed to focus in on the key elements of planning and, answered in sequence, really help owners figure out what they need to do to increase value or make critical decisions or both. An added benefit: knowing what you need to do reduces stress and anxiety.

By adding a fresh set of eyes with wide exposure to the profession I can

  • answer many questions,
  • provide access to practical solutions
  • provide access to resources
  • provide a sounding board

Fundamentally, Strategic Planning requires we answer 4 questions:

  1. What’s happening now?
    1. I analyze your operating statements for efficiency and effectiveness
    2. I assess your market and competition
    3. I assess your staff
  2. What will the business look like in 5 years?
    1. We collaboratively develop as many scenarios as necessary
    2. We collaboratively analyze the impact of each scenario
    3. We develop a picture of the best case and worst case
  3. What can we do about it?
    1. Again, collaboratively we explore your options
    2. We narrow those options to the most feasible and / or desirable
  4. Who will do it?
    1. This critical step is where most people drop the ball
      1. a clearly articulated plan of execution
        1. identifying:
          1. what
          2. how
          3. when
          4. and, most important, who