Most business leaders hear Strategic Planning and think of two things:
I’ll get to it later.
I don’t have time for that.
I totally get it! When we’re busy, the last thing we want is to work on items that feel optional. I have been there myself several times. It took me 15 years to realize the importance of strategic planning. I would say the number one benefit is that it makes prioritizing life, staff, and customers easier. We only have so many hours in the day and not being clear where to spend your time can leave you struggling to get everything done. Once I realized that this exercise would unlock more revenue, new opportunities, easier workflow, and happier customers, I was hooked.
It's important to note that there are hundreds of different methodologies and exercises out there for any business leader to use. Therein lies the biggest issue. When there are so many options, we don't know which way to go. So, we end up not doing anything..
After attempting many of the hundreds of methodologies and exercises in the world for strategic planning in my business I discovered three unique exercises that actually brought value. Before I share these exercises it’s important to know that I, like many entrepreneurs, really struggle to find the time and focus to do long-term planning but I was able to stick with it because of these 3 methods.
The process of gaining traction starts by clarifying your vision for your business. By doing so, you will make better decisions about people, processes, finances, strategies, and customers. In this process, you'll navigate through a series of meetings to help you identify your core values, core focus, target market, and 1, 3, and 10-year goals. In the end, you’ll have a powerful tool that simplifies your strategic planning process.
This is for someone that: Connects employee efforts to the most important goals, is determined to shorten the time to success, and is looking for a planning tool that works
Most business success stories are anchored by a foundation of paying attention to the data. A company scorecard can guide priorities by the department. The business units we focus on are Sales & Marketing, Operations, and Finance. By giving each area an honest and critical score each month the prioritization of resource allocation becomes obvious.
This is for someone that is: dedicated to growing the company, tired of competing priorities, feeling lost as to where to allocate time and money, and wants a way to track progress.
Customers go on a journey with the companies they buy from. Even if the company doesn’t design one. By mapping out the stages a prospect goes through from the “asses phase” to the “referral phase”, your business will maximize the customer's lifetime value. To engage with prospects we need to make all required stages of the customer journey truly remarkable.
This is for someone that wants: a prospect to convert, to understand why prospects leave, for future sales to be easier, and for more opportunities
How do these three work together for your business?
First, we must start with the vision organizer. Once you know where you are and where you would like to go over the next one to 10 years, it will be much easier to create a scorecard that aligns with that vision. Lastly, the customer Journey must be at the heart of every decision you make once the vision and scorecard are complete.
I personally found that using these three methodologies brought clarity and clear direction to my business and I know they can do the same for yours.