Strategic Planning isn’t something reserved for just big companies. In fact, even Solopreneurs working from home need the benefits that come from holding regular strategic sessions.
Every month, Jennifer and I schedule at least one ½ day strategic planning session. This is a time when we leave our home office and go “off-site” (usually to a coffee shop!) and work ON our business.
These planning sessions have reaped huge benefits for us and have helped us make our business run much better than they would be without these sessions.
With every hour invested in strategic planning resulting in a 10-fold return, it becomes foolish not to strategic plan..
These sessions don’t need to be full-blown planning sessions (although those are useful too); you can achieve tremendous benefits in smaller scale, ad-hoc sessions.
Make Your Business Run Like Clock Work
Your Strategic Planning session is not a time to get caught up with work, talk about business or tidy up. Strategic Planning sessions are about making significant structural changes to your business.
Imagine what would happen if you made one strategic shift each month that made your sales message more effective, improved your service with less effort, reduced admin time by several hours each month…After a year, your business would be running significantly better: higher profits, less of your time.
Some Ideas of What You Can Do At Your Strategic Planning Session
- Tighten up a business process that improves your operations.
For example, create your Accounts Payable follow-up procedure, including at what point you follow-up, how you follow-up, how you escelate, creating the Email and letter templates you use, etc.
- Meet with a Professional Advisor. It’s amazing how valuable it can be to review your business finances proactively (and not just as a tax-time measure) can be to your business. Seek the strategic advice of an impartial, expert set of eyes.
- Go through the Customer Experience Process. Invite a trusted Customer who is well aquainted with your business to spend the time with you. During that time, ask that Customer to give you their feedback on every part of your business that touches the Customer: your signage, logo, colours, your sales process, your website, your invoicing/payment process, your retail counter help, etc.
- Develop your Vision for the business. What would a world-class version of your business look like? Write it out and work on perfecting that vision.
- Analyze the recurring sales objections you encounter and develop “objection nullifying” solutions to them and promote them prominently in your marketing.
Without Action, It’s Just Playing
Strategic Planning in and of itself doesn’t change your business. Action changes your business. From your planning session, you need to develop an action plan that you then implement. Without action, you’re just playing business. With action, you’re creating an asset that will serve you well in the days, months and years to come.
Your Call To Action