(1/3) Why is a Strategic Plan Important?

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What is Strategic Planning and Why is a Strategic Plan Important?

Part one of a three-part series on strategic planning and goal setting in your business

New year’s resolutions, goal setting, strategic planning —we’re bombarded by messages to endeavor in goal setting and how to stick to resolutions.

Here’s another article to add to the noise! But fear not, this is not another boring article about setting SMART goals, or another essay that makes you feel guilty for falling off the resolution bandwagon.

Rather, in this three-part series, we’ll discuss why it’s important to strategically plan in your business, things to keep in mind while strategically planning, and how to craft a plan that you’ll utilize throughout the year.

Why is a Strategic Plan Important?

A strategic plan provides clarity, gives your company (or you) the road map of what you’re committing to, and creates an intentional path forward.

A great strategic plan will clearly outline:

  • Your company’s larger vision
  • The goals and benchmarks your business is striving for in the next year to five years (with a clear understanding of the why’s behind those goals and benchmarks)
  • The foundations you’ll need to lay to achieve those goals and benchmarks (i.e. training, new hires, new software implemented, etc.)
  • Who is responsible for which parts of the plan?
  • Metrics: What are you tracking and how will you know you’ve successfully hit your goals and benchmarks?

Strategic planning, if implemented well, helps business scale, grow, and become more profitable. Why? Because businesses that plan have a clear direction, with a road map of how to get there, and how to measure their success or setbacks. Businesses who plan do not get sidetracked by shiny objects because they know what they’re going after.

But let’s be clear, a strategic plan is not a magic bullet, rather it’s a living, evolving roadmap that helps steer the vision of your business.

You can spend hours with your team crafting your strategic plan, but if you’re not actually implementing the plan, if you don’t continuously refer to the plan, you’ve wasted everyone’s time.

How to Make Your Strategic Plan Successful

To successfully carry out a strategic plan requires:

1. Accountability and implementation: Continuously checking in to ascertain progress, updating for setbacks, obstacles etc.

2. Evolution: The understanding that the strategic plan will evolve over time, adjusting to new demands, new insights

3. Communication and buy-in: Involve your team in crafting the plan, or if not directly involved in crafting the plan, figure out ways to help communicate the new strategic plan and get buy-in, so that the company is moving forward, together

One common refrain from small businesses is that they are too busy working in their business to plan. Let’s be honest, strategic planning requires time and energy. If you’ve got a small team that’s already pushed to capacity, it can make strategic planning difficult. But busy businesses at capacity are often the business who are in dire need of a strategic plan. They’ve either grown recently and need to look at how to expand with more efficiency. Or, they’ve been spinning wheels for a long time, using too much energy to get too little accomplished.

As we move into a new year, as we’ve all had to adapt over and over in 2020, we at Open Eye encourage businesses to invest time and energy into strategic planning, so they can move forward, intentionally, with clarity, a road map towards success.

Stay tuned for the second post in this series: Strategic Plan Components.

Interested in hiring Open Eye to facilitate a strategic planning session for your business? Contact us here.

Kiara Fuentes
  • Strategy and Consulting

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