Guest Blog by Michelle DeNio
When you hear the words “business strategy” what comes to your mind first? And what comes to your mind when you hear “strategic planning”? Do you know the difference between strategic planning and traditional business planning? You may be thinking: “Why as an online entrepreneur do I need both?”
Simply put, strategic planning focuses on the overall direction and vision for your company. It includes long term, big vision goals. A strategic plan is the process of defining the strategy by which you will accomplish certain goals or make decisions.
A strategic plan takes a look at your bigger vision. It addresses questions like: “Where is your business now and where do you want it to go?” Most importantly: “HOW is it going to get there?” “What is the growth you are looking to see in your business?” These are all questions that get answered when you create a strategic plan. Once you have your point A and your point B, the strategic plan is then used to break this down and put the action plan in place to get your business moving in the desired direction for growth.
So now that we know what a strategic plan is, let’s talk about how you create one in 5 easy to implement steps…
Step 1: Vision
When you think about your vision, really think BIG picture. Don’t get wrapped up in the HOW this will happen, stay focused on WHAT and WHY. In this step just brain dump everything you can about your vision for your business. Personal visions, professional visions, and how they incorporate together with one another.
Step 2: Research (Analytics)
Before you can know where you’re going and HOW you are going to get there, you have to know where you’ve been. Take inventory of each area of business and see where things were great and where they can improve.
Step 3: Goals and Objectives
What is the difference between goals and objectives? Why do you need both? Goals are general guidelines. Goals are milestones you want to meet in your business. Objectives are the strategies and steps you need to attain the above goals. Objectives bring in the HOW you are going to accomplish the vision you set in step 1.
Step 4: Implementation and Management
This is the step that brings the first 3 to life. We have our vision, we know what has worked and what hasn’t, and we know the goals and objectives for our company. Now it’s time to implement and put a plan in place to take ACTION. In this step – break this down into as many bite size pieces as you can. The smaller the action is, the easier it is to take action on. So don’t be afraid to break this down, then break it down again, and again, until you get to an action that you can implement immediately and build off of it.
Step 5: Tracking and Re-evaluation
Tracking your activity is crucial to the success of the plan you put in place. Use a daily activity tracker, spreadsheet, pen and paper…whatever works best for you but be sure you are tracking your progress. This is a chance to monitor your progress to see if/when you fell short of your goals and to re-evaluate and understand WHY that may have happened. This also gives you an opportunity to see where you have exceeded your goals and again, understand WHY. Remember, all of this is just data. Don’t overthink or over-analyze this information. Use it to help you evolve your business and move forward.
Strategic plans are living documents; they can and MUST evolve with your business. When you have a plan it’s easier and more efficient to hit your objectives so that you can have the lifestyle and business you want.
Start implementing these 5 steps immediately and remember; GROWTH OF A BUSINESS REQUIRES HELP. If you struggle to create your strategic plan on your own, ask for help! Often times, having an outside perspective makes this process much easier.
If you need help putting this plan in place, please do not hesitate to reach out. I would be happy to review what you have and help you where you may be getting stuck. Schedule a FREE no obligation strategy call today!
About the Author: Michelle DeNio is a Business Strategist who works with entrepreneurs, business owners, and organizations to create systems and develop strategies to streamline their processes and achieve success. You can visit her website at www.michelledenio.com to book a FREE connection call to discuss your business needs.