Strategic planning only helps organizations when they are kept active and implemented. The strategic plan defines the business direction. That direction is based on the future, the vision of the company. Before an effective strategic plan can be developed a clear and compelling vision is needed.
Visions are optimistic, the ideal picture of the future. The strategic plan that results from the leadership team’s strategic planning, is the map to that vision and then it is only effective if it is implemented.
Strategic plans can sound intimidating and overwhelming to many small business owners. The most effective strategic plans are those that are simple, completed with the leadership team and key people in the company. Complex documents that consume excessive amounts of time to create don’t guarantee success.
In fact, the large and cumbersome strategic plan can be so overwhelming that it just doesn’t work. Strategic planning sessions that go on and on for months also fail because so much time is consumed in the planning and the implementation, which is the key, is pushed aside. The goal to have the perfect strategic plan doesn’t produce results. Instead, the team that engages in strategic planning and produces a good working document is more likely to succeed.
Start with vision. Write down what you envision for the future. What does the future of your business look like? What do you want for the future? Vision stories are inspiring, it’s your dream. Once you have created your vision you can begin building strategies.
The vision is the destination, where you are going. The strategies are the map that gets you to the vision. Company values are the guide or the “compass” in our map metaphor for making decisions along the way. Values keep you oriented and in alignment. When values are out of alignment the company is off track; not moving in the direction of the vision.
Strategic goals can be limited to the top 6-10. By having fewer goals the plan is able to stay alive and in front of you and the team. By alive, it means that the plan is always where you can see it, use it and keep working on it. It means that the team is focused on the strategic goals at all times, talking about them, brainstorming on them and reporting to each other their successes and challenges.
To set strategies for your business first look at the vision, the different aspects of the vision. Brainstorm all of the goals, all of the strategies for each aspect of the vision. With brainstorming it is important to get all of the ideas out and write them down without judging them or editing them. Often the best idea comes from an idea that at first look seemed too wild or crazy. Ideas jump off of other ideas.
Once you have brainstormed all of the possible goals, prioritize them. Often strategic goals can be grouped with similar strategies. This can help in the prioritization process. The goal is to narrow the list down to the top 6-10 strategies. What are the goals or strategies that will give your business the future you envision, that will create a breakthrough that will produce the results that you want? Those are the goals that you should be selecting as top priorities.
Creating a powerful strategic plan is just one of the first steps. Many organizations have strategic plans that are well thought out and crafted. Where they fall short is in the implementation of that plan.
Implementation is the result of focused and continuous action. Strategic plans don’t just happen on their own: they require your attention. By keeping the plan in front of you and the team responsible for the plan, focus is maintained. Regular meetings about the plan also keep the plan moving in the right direction. Check-in meetings hold people accountable. When teams don’t meet and don’t keep their eye on the plan, the day to day interferes and the status quo remains.
In order to make changes in the results that you achieve there has to be intention and commitment on the part of the team. The check-in meeting gives the team the opportunity to review what is happening, what is interfering with the results they want and need and make the changes necessary to change the outcomes. Through the intention of the leadership, the plan and the team, the culture of the workplace can shift from one of non-performance to one of performance focused.
Performance focused companies are companies that are thriving. The energy of high performing teams shifts the energy of the whole organization. It becomes more positive and contagious. People become excited about the vision, the plan and their implementation of the plan. Results create energy and excitement that keeps the plan moving, it propels the plan and the ultimate results of the company.
Organizations that produce results have a clear vision of the future; have a plan that is simple and strategic; and they work on the plan all the time. Their actions are designed to move that plan forward. They don’t let themselves or others get in the way. Through effective strategic planning and by implementing the strategic plan organizations achieve results.
Creating a strategic plan can be the first action towards growing your company with focus and intention. But as you can see, it takes some thought and then it takes consistent and persistent action. It does not work if it sits on the shelf. Your company does not grow when you are not focused on that growth.
Join our strategic action calls with a Bizology GROUP Membership. We meet twice per month to keep momentum moving, to focus on growth, profitability and strategy!!
As the leader of the organization, it is your role, my role to focus on the direction and growth of the organization. When making changes or shifts in direction, that is the leader. But, you don’t just make a big change without checking in on Mission, Vision, and Values. These three pieces of the organization are critical and cannot be ignored.
Are they shifting or changing?
Inside of leadership – Vision, Values, Strategy I am reviewing each and they are shifting slightly in their wording but overall remain pretty much the same. The implementation of each is where the shift will occur.
Growing Thriving Businesses through effective leadership, strategy and operations.
Does it still fit? Yes. It’s revised and up to date!!
Grow a community of business leaders that are building their thriving businesses while connecting with others, offering ideas, support, and strategies to colleagues.
Does it still fit? I updated it. Actually changed it quite a bit.
I think it is the combination of mission, vision and values that guide your decision making. I have definitely lost track of that at times. But when put all together — they are powerful.
It is important to take the time to review each of these regularly and include them in your practice of connection with your business.
Next step is creating the strategic plan. Strategic planning is important. it gives you the guide to growing your business. Many parts of Bizology can fit easily into the strategic plan. Where people get off track is in creating strategic goals that are actually every day operating goals. Yes, the business needs to operate but the strategic growth plan is on growing not just operating. So the goals need to be forward thinking or pointing to the future, not the status quo.
The next step of leadership is to create the strategic plan. I will be sharing that over the next few days!!The strategic planning module in Bizology provides a great framework for building an effective strategic plan.
Well I tell you, I have been soul searching and finding my purpose again.
I’ve reconnected with cycling and dreaming and some of that took me away from CRC.
But it is all good. Because I am focused and ready to make some changes and work things a bit differently!!
So what will it look like? How will it work??
Well, the details are coming….. and getting clearer and clearer but it has definitely take a while!!
First, I’ve taken a part time job in a bike shop!! I am learning to build bikes, sell bikes and eventually — I hope — how to repair bikes!!
At the same time, I have also got a NEW bike. New bike days are GREAT days!!
And we are having a blast riding together.
She doesn’t have a name (yet!!). But I am considering naming her. Any good ideas??
I am rebuilding my business around the same values and mission — helping small business owners grow their businesses and building my business to incorporate time differently to enable bike building and bike riding!!
So, bottom line — it’s all good. It’s positive change. Because it brings my more authentic self out!!
It is an exciting time!
Keep an eye out as I let YOU know what it looks like and HOW I am working with business leaders!!
Whether you are operating a service business or a store front or an online business — traffic is key.
Every business should have a a web presence and have an online strategy for driving traffic. For online traffic there are four key areas of focus.
But the number one thing that you need is to KNOW YOUR NUMBERS!
One simple way to get a boatload of free traffic is from writing high quality content. Not a great writer? Not to worry there are still ways you can produce quality content without having to write it from scratch yourself.
Be sure to use your website. Adding new content via a blog is a great way to use your blog.
Then share that content across your social media networks.
Repurpose that content to share in different formats.
Engage with readers and comments.
Invite guest bloggers to your site and be a guest blogger on other websites.
Continue to learn how to make your website a key piece of your lead generation.
You probably already know how important sales leads are if you’re the owner of a business. If you don’t, then you should. Leads are the lifeblood of every business that currently exists or has ever existed and leads come from TRAFFIC!!
Leads were important to businesses hundreds of years ago. They are important to businesses today. They will remain important to businesses in the future.
As long as someone has something that they wish to sell to someone else, a lead on the identity of that someone else is vitally important.
This guide will give you Quick Tips for
for creating a content marketing strategy. Using your content only once is cumbersome. It means that you are constantly creating new content. But when you repurpose your content, then you are able to maximize its reach and its power.
Content Repurposing is central to an effective Content Marketing Strategy.
Can content be a marketing strategy? YES!! Definitely! Content educates your prospect, your leads about YOU, your organization and what you have to offer. It is a pre-seller to your services.