Those who plan and those who don’t
When we talk about strategic planning, we find that business owners fall into two major categories. There are those who think strategically about their business, have a written strategic business plan and update it regularly. And, then, there are those who face each day and each problem as it comes. All the surveys – and our own experience - tell us that those who plan are more successful and enjoy their lives more.
Misconceptions about strategic planning
-- Planning is too time-consuming.
-- It’s too difficult.
-- What’s the point? Tomorrow, something will change and my plan won’t be good anymore.
Your design for the future is your guarantee for success. Designing your own future is not too hard, or too time-consuming, or a waste of time. Having a strategic vision for you business will help you respond to your changing environment. Clarifying your vision and defining your business purpose, and identifying your values as well as your goals, will help you know which opportunities to leverage. It will also help you maneuver the bumps in the road.
Left brain, right brain
Strategic thinking is left brain. Strategic planning is right brain. Don’t worry, if you’re predominately one or the other. Strategic thinking feeds your ability to plan and strategic planning feeds your ability to think strategically.
Strategic thinking questions
-- How do I want my business to impact my community? The world?
-- How do I want my customers to feel about doing business with my firm?
-- When I retire, what do I want the business I leave behind to look like?
Strategic planning questions
-- What specific goals do I want to attain?
-- How big do I want my business to be?
-- What are the right things to do in order to reflect our vision and reach our goals?
The B.I.G. question -- Are we doing the right things?
This is the question that leads to continuous improvement. It ensures you will make the right decisions when -- not if, but when -- your business changes. When you manage your business from the perspective of your strategic vision and plan, you’ll get better results than the traditional approach of “it it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Make sure your day-to-day decisions match your strategic vision.
Envision the future environment and your place in it. Then, make sure your day-to-day decisions will guide you and your organization to that future vision. Your strategic plan can respond to the changes in your environment. And, it will evolve over time.
Strategic planning is not an event or a linear exercise. Strategic planning is an ongoing process which takes into consideration the changing environment, your company culture and so much more. The fresh insight arrived at today may very well change the decisions you made yesterday.
Your strategic plan will be your best tool to help you grow your business for B.I.G. success