Right above your values – who you are, how you think, how you see the world – and your goals in our pyramid-wedge-mountian-hierarchy-of-small-business-except-we-don’t-like-calling-them-small thingie, you’ll find strategic planning.
Strategic planning is simple. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. There’s no magic bullet. There’s no pill you can take to replace hard work.
Let me try and simplify it for you:
1) What are you trying to make happen? Tell me in clear, concrete language. Use no more than three sentences my eight-year-old could understand.
2) What’s in your way? Tell me in the same clear language what’s holding you back. Some of these limiting factors will be known to you. Some won’t. Blind spots can trip up anyone. It helps to have an outside eye, ear, and heart.
3) Once we know what to do, what are we going to do first, second, third? Multi-tasking is a myth that makes you dumber and less efficient. Prioritize the stuff you’re trying to make happen. Delegate.
4) Brainstorm. Don’t let this trip you up. What if money were no object? How would you solve your problem? Look outside your own business category – has the HVAC industry already solved a similar problem? What about the amusement park industry? Google “how to have a better brainstorming session.” And here’s how to double the output of your next session.
5) Do stuff. Go hard in the paint. Work your list.
6) Celebrate your progress with your team. As I’ve said before, tell me about your last three company parties, and I will tell you about your company.
When we meet with new clients – using our new, aforementioned good company wedgie thing – this is also where we consider:
- Your market size and potential.
- Your competitors and how good they are and how they’re marketing.
- Your business model.
- Your team of superstars and not-so-superstars.
- Your willingness to do the work.
You’ll need to consider them as well. Don’t be overwhelmed. Take it one step at a time and rely upon your values and goals to guide you through the strategic planning process. Let us know if we can help.