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How many of you think that strategic planning is only for enterprise businesses? Us, small guys, just need to put our head down and work hard.

As Benjamin Franklin would say, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. A strategic plan is a roadmap to achieve pre-set business objectives.

Our 3Ps to Strategic Planning:

  • Players – Putting together a multi-faceted strategy team is a key part of planning. Small business owners seem to think that this annual exercise must be a closed door internal planning session and it doesn’t have to be.

  • Preparation – I’m guilty, like many of you, I spend most of my time working in the business rather than on the business. We “squeeze” in a strategic planning discussions by the water cooler or on our drive home. Regular strategic meeting ensures that the organization is proactive about its direction. It isn’t “just” the 2-day off-site; the preparation work (i.e., market research, R&D direction, budget requirements, employee feedback, etc.) involved is a key component to strategic planning.

  • action Plan– Too often, strategic meeting ends without actionable next steps. To have a chance at hitting the objectives, the plan must include articulate goals, action steps, responsibilities, accountabilities, measures of success and specific deadlines.

Having a plan doesn’t mean you stick to it blindly. Agility is a key factor in successful small businesses because being agile allows small businesses to be opportunistic. A strategic plan is a roadmap; that said, an efficient road network allows for many paths from point A to point B. Have fun planning.

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