You know that game Whack a mole? Where you hit one mole, and five more pop up in its place. I love that game….just not in my business. It’s frustrating to have to put out fires all of the time. It’s like you fix one thing – and 5 more issues pop up. It’s easy to feel like your brain is about to explode from the sheer volume of decisions and priorities you need to juggle as a business owner. Friend…you are not alone!
There is a way to turn that overwhelming madness into calm and clarity.
By creating a solid strategic plan for your business, you can cut through the noise and focus on what matters – without losing your sanity!
Why You Need a Strategic Plan
It’s so easy to think:
I need to work harder. I need to work longer. There are not enough hours in the day.
When in truth, we have not actively chosen a path to follow. Our strategy has been more reactive than proactive.
But with so many moving parts and competing priorities, it can be challenging to know where to focus your time and energy.
If you want a business that achieves sustainable growth and long-term success – you need a strategic plan. Without one, it’s like setting sail in a ship without a destination in mind – drifting aimlessly, getting beaten and battered by the storms, and possibly getting stuck in the Bermuda Triangle – feeling like you’re going around in circles.
A strategic plan serves as a roadmap because it will:
- define your business goals
- outline the steps you need to take to achieve them
- list the metrics you’ll use to measure progress and success
- help establish priorities
- allow you to make informed decisions
- empower you to adapt to a consistently changing business world
Creating a Strategic Plan
Start with Mission, Vision, and Values
Developing a strategic plan can be daunting, but starting with a clear mission, vision, and values will help guide the process. It is one of the most crucial pieces in your strategic plan. Your Vision should drive your actions, inspire your team, and motivate you to reach your goals. By creating a solid strategic plan, you ensure that your business growth journey is guided by a clear direction and sense of purpose.
Build It Around the 8 Pillars of Business Growth
Incorporating the 8 pillars of business growth into your strategic plan can help you build a strong and sustainable business. These 8 pillars are: business growth and financials, offer development, visibility, team growth, systems and processes, client experience, professional growth, and culture. They enable you to focus on the key areas that are essential for your success, ensuring that your efforts and resources are allocated effectively. By integrating each of these pillars into your business, you can create a well-rounded plan designed to drive growth, improve efficiency, and enhance your overall business performance.
Setting priorities is an essential aspect of running a successful business. With so many things to do and limited time, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and lose focus. That’s why it’s important to prioritize tasks and activities based on their level of importance and urgency. This ensures that you’re always working on the most critical things that will move your business forward, and you won’t get sidetracked by less important tasks. Prioritizing also helps you manage your time more effectively, which is crucial to achieving long-term success. A good rule of thumb here is to choose 3-5 projects per quarter – depending on the size of your team.
Determine Your Goals
A good goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Start by dreaming big and setting a long-term goal that aligns with your vision and values, then break it down into smaller, achievable short-term goals. This way, you can track your progress, make adjustments along the way, and celebrate each step forward. Remember to aim high but keep your goals realistic, and always stay focused on the big picture of what you want to achieve!
Set Up Your Projects in a Project Management Tool
Are you the kind of CEO or business owner who loves to dream big and make a real impact but gets bogged down by the nitty-gritty details of project management? Fear not, my friend! Setting up your projects in a project management tool can help you streamline the operational side of things and keep you focused on your big-picture goals. It may not be the most glamorous part of running a business, but trust me, a well-organized and well-managed project is the key to success. If building these tasks into your project management tool isn’t your favorite thing to do, hand this off to your business manager or director of operations.
How to Use a Strategic Plan
A strategic plan is only effective if you use it to guide your daily actions and decisions. By connecting your day-to-day tasks with your long-term vision, you’ll be able to progress toward your goals and see the impact of your efforts. It can be helpful to have an accountability partner or a strategic partner who can help you stay on track and offer a fresh perspective on your progress. And don’t forget to communicate with your team – the more they understand your strategic plan, the better equipped they’ll be to support your vision and contribute to your success.
When it comes to creating and implementing a strategic plan, there are some common mistakes and pitfalls that can hinder your success.
The Belief that a Strategic Plan Doesn’t Allow for Creativity
One of these mistakes is the belief that following a strategic plan doesn’t allow for creativity, and that it’s too rigid to be effective. However, a well-designed strategic plan can actually provide the framework and structure needed to be more creative and innovative.
Changing Your Plan Too Often
Another mistake to avoid is changing your plan too often. While it’s important to be adaptable and responsive to changing circumstances, constantly altering your plan can lead to a lack of direction and focus, and make it difficult to achieve your long-term goals.
Failing to track progress
Failing to track your progress and make necessary adjustments to your strategic plan can be a costly mistake. Instead, when you take the time to review and adjust your plan as needed, you can identify potential roadblocks or missed opportunities and make the necessary course corrections to stay on track. It’s like a GPS for your business, constantly recalculating the route to get you to your destination!
- Write out your Mission, Vision, Values – Grab our free Mission, Vision, and Values workbook here if you’d like some extra support!
- Create your strategic plan
- Communicate it with your team
- Build your plan into your weekly workflow – grab the free time blocker
- Ask yourself, “What support do I need?”
The next 90 days could be the most productive 90 days you’ve ever had in your business. Are you ready?