Many times, we spend years feeling like we’re running in circles. Grinding away and unable to point to an achievement we’re proud of.
But more often than not, the reason for this dissatisfaction is the fact that we didn’t take the time to articulate where we wanted to be in the first place. If you don’t know where you want to be, how will you know that you got there?
Not having a strategic plan for your business leaves you in a vulnerable spot — both business-wise and emotionally.
A strategic plan simplifies your operations and gives you the why, how, and when to whatever you’re trying to accomplish:
- It gives you and your team everything you need to achieve those big goals.
- It makes it easier to find the right people to do the job because you know exactly what you need from them.
- It allows you to select the right clients because you know your services and goals well enough to vet prospects who simply wouldn’t be a good fit.
Strategic planning may sound intimidating or utterly complex. But the truth is you just need to sit down for a day and craft your vision of your business and the steps to get there. Seeing it all out on paper helps you solidify your goals into actionable steps.
Here’s how to do it:
How to create your strategic business plan in 6 steps
Define your mission and vision
The first step of your strategic plan is articulating where you want to be in one, three, or five years. This step is crucial for determining next steps.
Starting with your vision, ask yourself:
- Why are you running this business in the first place?
- What would success look like this year and in the future?
- What’s your ultimate goal?
Now, consolidate these answers into a short (25-30 word) statement that summarizes your vision for your business.
On the other hand, your mission is the tangible result you’re setting out to achieve. The way to get there is by looking at what you do and how it impacts your audience to do and be better.
Start by asking yourself:
- What problem are you addressing for your audience?
- How would things look if you managed to solve the problem for good?
Sweetgreen is an example of a mission statement I love — simple and to the point: Building healthier communities by connecting people to real food.
Conduct a thorough assessment
Once you defined your business’s mission and vision, it’s time to assess where you stand. Tools like a SWOT analysis provide a clear framework you can follow to discover your strengths and areas of improvement and then choose a path forward.
Set your goals
Knowing exactly where you stand, you have a foundation to build on. So after your assessment, it’s time to set those lofty goals — no playing it small here.
There are many ways you can go about setting goals. There’s the famous SMART framework, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Simply put, moving from “I want to sell more” to “I want to increase my conversions from 10% to 25% in Q3, 2022.” Can you see the impact of using this method?
Another method I like for goal setting is OKR — Objectives and Key Results. In short, this means defining a goal — objective — which is the qualitative statement of your goal. Following the example above, this objective would be “close 25 prospects in Q3 of 2022, a 150% increase from Q2’s 10 conversions.”
Next, your key results are the milestones that’ll get you closer to that objective. Interestingly, HubSpot highlights that these milestones aren’t make-or-break — you may or may not accomplish 100% of them.
Create a plan
With a clear goal — or objective — in mind, it’s time to break down the steps you’ll take to achieve it. Break bigger goals into milestones, define timelines for them, and assign owners to each one to ensure that everyone is aware of their responsibility within the project.
Align your resources
Now that you know exactly what you want to achieve, it’s time to review how you’ll leverage your existing resources to get closer to those goals.
Aligning your resources means prioritizing your time, your team and their skills, and any other resource like access to training or expertise to improve your processes in a way that enables success.
It can look like:
- Delegating work that doesn’t drive revenue or is outside your zone of genius.
- Getting rid of services that don’t support your vision and prioritizing those that do.
- Finding partners that complement your skills — like a marketing agency or a bookkeeper.
- Assigning your team tasks based on their skills and compensation.
Track your results
It’s not enough to print your business plan and shove it in a folder somewhere. To be successful, you need to track progress against it regularly.
Depending on how you set those goals, monthly, quarterly, or even yearly reviews are crucial for measuring progress and accomplishing what you set out to do.
A strategic business plan simplifies your decisions
A strategic business plan removes the guesswork out of your daily processes and makes it easier to show up and do exactly what you need.
It is the missing piece for many entrepreneurs struggling to show up authentically and achieve their dreams. If you feel like this is you, book a consultation now to discover the power of a dedicated marketing team for growing your business.