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Strategic Planning Tools

It is the fourth quarter and for many it is time to for strategic planning for the coming fiscal year.  Like your business plan, your strategic plan should not be written and placed on the shelf.  For that reason, the strategic plan should

not be long, complicated to create nor hard to update.

Don't let the words strategic plan cause you to go running screaming from your computer.  At its core the point is to look at what worked in the past, outline where you would like to go in the future and what tools you may need to get there.  Ok, so I oversimplified it a bit, but it doesn't have to be much more complicated than that.

Here are some questions to get you started:

  1. What products/services sold well?  Which didn't?  Which could be better with minor changes?
  2. What new opportunities have been uncovered?  This could be products, services, marketing, etc.
  3. What are the recurring expenses?  new expenses? retired expenses?  This could be infrastructure, communications, benefits, etc.  Are there better deals out there?
  4. Are there changes needed in staffing? Do you need help?  Do you have too much help?

Write it down and store in a manner that YOU will easily refer to and update.  For me, it is an Excel file that some think is complex, for others it is a simple text based document tacked to your office wall that gets redlined throughout the year.  The key is that it, the strategic plan, be something that you use as a tool for running your business, keeping it aligned with your vision and goals.

For other thoughts on creating your strategic plan see: 4 Tips For an Easy-to-Build Budget and Strategic Plan from American Express Open Forum's Idea Hub.  This is just one idea, Google strategic plan and you will find over 14 million. Find the one that works for you and your business.

Happy Planning!

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Sunday, 27 September 2020

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