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The basics of Strategic Planning

It’s hard to understand why so many small businesses don’t want to spend two days formulating a Strategic Focus Plan. So many owners and their staff spent a lot of time resolving short-term problems that resulted from the lack of a long-range plan. A full strategic focus plan has a lot of parts, all which come from first laying a foundation. This blog contains only a basic outline which encompasses the essence of a Strategic Plan.

  1. The first step is to determine “who the company was“. That includes a look at its history and how it got to this point. What factors caused the company to begin and who were the key contributors.
  2. The second step is to determine “where the company is going“. This involves much more than setting a monetary goal. It should cover the philosophy of the owners and the vision of the owners and then that vision should be presented to current staff and to all future employees. Everyone in the company has to buy into the destination. 
  3. The third step is “how is the company going to get there”. This is the action plan and the one that usually never goes past a modest beginning and then disappears for lack of follow through. The accountability factor is the key to growth. All the goals will never be achieved until the owner and each employee are held accountable for their share of the work.

In my 25 plus years of working with small businesses, the lack of an accountability system was by far the  biggest cause of a business having to struggle to survive. Human nature is weak and excuses, although perhaps legitimate, don’t justify the lack of a follow through  to a good business plan. There is no support as the support offered by a trusted business adviser who will keep you accountable to your plan.


“There is little you can learn from doing nothing”

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