Top 10 Tips for Your Small Business Strategic Plan

03/11/2020 | Roger and Susie Engelau

We recently read an article that said a small business strategic plan is a a waste of time.

We say “how can you possibly know where your small business needs to go if you don’t have a strategic direction?”

There is amazing confidence that comes from the sure knowledge that what you are doing today will get your small business where you want it to be. That can only come from having a strategic plan for your business. Without a strategic plan, you miss the deep thinking that is so necessary to running any business.

Spending a few hours on a strategic plan is critical time working ON your business instead of IN your business.

In honor of our small business’ 10-year anniversary, we’re sharing our top 10 ways to create a small business strategic plan. Hundreds of small business owners have used these to create a small business strategic plan… a plan that insures that how they’re spending their time today aligns with where they want their companies to be tomorrow, and years down the road.

Top 10 Ways to Create a Small Business Strategic Plan

  1. Make it short! A small business strategic plan can, and should, be all on a single sheet. No binders or folders with pages of narrative and charts. Instead, make it numbers and short sentences with sections on a single sheet of paper.
  2. Take 1 day to create it. While it won’t be perfect, by the end of 6 or 7 hours you can have all the necessary components of a small business strategic plan for your company sketched out.
  3. Tie your small business strategic plan to a single sheet Action Plan. By the end of that same 6 or 7 hours, you can also have actions defined, complete with due dates and who’s responsible for them.
  4. Align it with the vision you have for your personal life. Whatever it is you want to Be, Do, and Have in 15-20 years, in 5 years, and next year, insure your small business strategic plan supports those personal goals that you and your family have.
  5. Include your leadership team in the creation of your strategic plan.
  6. Start it with a SWOT-T. You may not finish the whole SWOT-T but get a few of your company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats down on paper as well as key Trends in your industry.
  7. Revisit your Single Sheet Strategic Plan once a quarter. For the first year or two, this is your opportunity to finish it. After that, you’ll only need to make minor modifications.
  8. Update your Single Sheet Action Plan once a quarter. Delete completed actions and add new, relevant ones.
  9. Celebrate completed goals and actions.
  10. Be religious about setting aside a few hours every quarter to revisit your small business strategic plan!

A good way to enhance your accountability is by involving others. Plan to join us at the 2020 2nd quarter Growth Plan Workshop. It’s a 6-hour group setting with other business owners who are also working on their small business strategic plans.

Our coaches will spend one-on-one time with you, ask you the right questions, and give you the advice you need to walk away with a completed Single Sheet Strategic Operating Plan and a 90-day Action Plan.

Register here for the next Growth Plan Workshop.

Thur. June 25, 2020, 9 – 3 pm
Holiday Inn Indianapolis Airport, 8555 Stansted Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46241

You’ll walk away with:

  • A clear picture of where you want your business to be in 10-30 years, a 3-5 year plan, a 90-day plan, & a ready-to-implement action plan to get you there
  • Your 12-month goals broken into bite-size quarterly goals, monthly milestones, & weekly actions
  • Strategies to build your profits
  • A marketing plan draft with the right mix of marketing activities to yield consistent, high quality leads.

Small business ownership requires fire-fighting, problem-solving, getting new business, and so many other activities each and every day. You’ll never know if all that activity is getting you where you want to go without a small business strategic plan.