The strategic planning process is one of the most important aspects of starting a successful business. The trouble is, most entrepreneurs dislike taking the time to make proper plans.
When you formulate the vision for your company, it’s easy to get wrapped up in where you will begin and where you could go. That’s because having a business idea is exciting, and imagining where that idea could take you is even more so.
Now, take that excitement a step further, have fun with it, and develop a strategy. Spoiler alert! If you have an existing business, you should have both a Strategic Plan and a Business Plan. If you are a start-up, or planning one, create the Strategic Plan first because you may not need a Business Plan…yet!
Why Do I Even Need a Strategic Plan?
Whether you have an existing business or you’re starting a business, you can’t become too enamored with the beginning and the end. Just like anything in life, the journey is far more important than the start and finish. The strategic plan represents the journey. More to the point, it is the method by which you close the gap between your vision and today’s reality.
Many people make the mistake that a strategic plan is only developed when the business is started, but the fact is, a strategic plan is necessary throughout the life of the business. What’s more is that, once you have your initial team assembled, you will find it is hard for them to envision exactly what is going on in your head. You have to establish a set of procedures that will carry you all to your end goals.
And that is where the one-page strategic plan comes in handy.
But Why One Page?
The U.S. Tax Code is thousands of pages long, and not easy to understand. A Haiku is 3 lines long, and far too ambiguous for many to comprehend.
So in the case of your strategic plan, a single page will do. It’s the perfect length for a resume or a checklist, and it’s the perfect way to express your vision as well as your plan to achieve it.
In fact, I’ve even got a free template of the one-page strategic plan all set up for you in our Resources section of the website. It’s easy to download and fill in, and even easier to understand.
So Let’s Get Started on Your Strategic Plan
Once you have the template downloaded and in front of you, notice that there are sections for your vision, goals, strategic objectives and strategic initiatives. Each of these sections is an integral part of what your company will become, and each is further explained in the Business is ART book.
In the meantime, you can use the template to fill in your specific goals, set objectives that will help you reach those goals and even assign initiatives to your team. Remember that nothing is achieved by simply planning. Everything requires action and it is for that reason that my template includes a place for you to identify Strategic Initiatives. These are the projects you will undertake in order to achieve your strategic goals and objectives.
Achieving Your Vision
Articulating your vision and creating a strategic plan are only the initial steps in running a successful business. In order to achieve and maintain your success, you also have to revise your strategies and track your performance metrics to see what is working and what isn’t. All of this can be achieved by using the Business is ART software.
The strategic plan was the topic of one of my online radio broadcasts. Find the Business is ART show at TrueChatInc.com and look for Segment 10, entitled “Strategery”. In this segment, I walk you through the template and provide you with some tips and pointers.