Agritourism businesses, like any organization, thrive when well-planned strategies are executed and improved upon afterward. Agritourism strategies differ from other organizations both in the goals set forth and in the ideal completion timeframes.
Some questions you’ve likely considered in the planning and optimization processes:
- How do we drive more traffic to our properties?
- How do we account for the seasonality of agritourism, as a revenue-generator?
- What is our value add either seasonally or year-round?
- Are we providing the best customer experience for our visitors?
As we examine past results and plan for the future answers to these types of questions, it’s best to stick to the ABCs of strategy planning.
What are the ABCs of Strategy Planning?
In short, the ABCs of Strategy Planning help guide us through the entire strategic planning process so that we are maximizing efficiency and creating alignment among all of our teams who will be working together toward our goals. The ABCs are
Assessing your Agritourism Strategy
Before we can really look toward the future and make any accessible decisions, we need to first take a look back at what happened.
What got us here? Did we reach our goals? Why or why not?
During the Assess portion of the ABCs of Strategic Planning, we want to really dig into the “WHY” of our current realities to help drive our entire operation forward. In doing this, we’re able to successfully set actionable plans to drive forward movement—keeping in mind what that end goal looks like.
We can tackle these through five essential steps. In the Agritourism world, we can organize them this way:
- Strategy: What are we currently doing to drive traffic to our properties?
- Structure: Do we have the right framework to increase our agritourism efforts?
- Processes: What steps are we taking to bring in more tour customers?
- People: Do we have the right people leading the tours, marketing our efforts, and managing our teams?
- Rewards/Incentives: What is currently motivating our teams to increase our Agritourism efforts?
How to Build Your Agritourism Plans
The Build portion of your Strategic Planning ABCs is broken down into two sequential parts: Perspective and Plan (or Vision). These are sequential because Perspective absolutely must take place before you establish a vision for your strategic plan.
Executing these two steps takes us completely through to the final stages of the strategic plan. In short, this is where we take into account what we found during the Assess stages and begin building toward our desired outcomes.
The perspective phase should end with a full understanding of where your Agritourism business is as an organization and what the landscape looks like in between you and your goals.
What are the possible obstacles that stand in the way of us meeting our goals? What are the best or most risky routes we can take to get where we need to go?
When we can answer these types of questions successfully and collectively, we can move on and start working the plan.
Once we’ve assessed our organization and gained a shared perspective, we can begin our planning. At the same time, our focus is always with our Vision in mind.
Our highest priority goal may be driving 30% more Agritourism traffic. Do our core strategies align with this goal? Are we properly measuring everything that goes into achieving this goal?
And even more importantly – are we within the rails provided by our Core Values or Mission Statement?
With all this in mind, our Action Plan can take form and address how we are going to drive 30% more customers into our Agritourism efforts.
Completing the ABCs of Your Agritourism Strategic Planning
At this point, we’ve put together a beautiful Action Plan from a proper organizational assessment and shared perspective. Now, how do we stick to the plan? We want to ensure that this plan is embedded within our Agritourism DNA. To properly utilize this ABC process, executive leaders in every organization need the means to operationalize the strategic plan.
But what does this mean?
How many times have your best strategic plans fallen flat or gathered dust halfway through a year? Through a quarter?
Two key factors are at large in this stage to not only keep your plans going but to also establish them as bedrocks within your organization:
As an executive leader heading up your Agritourism organization, it lies with you to be intentional about executing your strategic plan. This means ingraining your strategic plans in your organizational structure through feedback loops, meeting cadences, performance reviews, and more.
If we, as the leadership team, aren’t intentional about implementing and enacting these, then it’s incredibly unlikely our teams will find these plans important and give them the proper attention.
It’s critical for us to understand that everyone within the organization must be held accountable to these plans. If our Action Plan is directly pointed at the goal of increasing 30% of Agritourism customer traffic, how often are we getting together and talking about the steps to get there, about new obstacles, about market shifts?
Failure to maintain alignment, drive, and focus amongst your organization can be catastrophic to your strategic plan.
How are Your Agritourism Plans Holding Up?
During our highly volatile seasons, it’s easy to lose sight of the overarching plans to account for what we think is right in the moment. But, we plan early and plan strategically for just this reason.
Making it a priority and a responsibility to stick to the plan often leads to the best sustained growth in the short-term and long-term. If needed, take a step back and examine where you were organizationally when you designed your current plan.
- Did you have a shared perspective with your teams?
- What did your assessment of current realities look like?
- Have you stuck with it up to this point?
Growing your Agritourism organization involves a number of moving parts, and adherence to these ABCs of Strategic Planning can provide you with the proper phases and stages to keep you and your teams heading in the right direction.
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