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You’re Never too Small for a Strategic Plan

A strategic plan is vital for companies of all sizes. In order to grow in size and revenue, a business must be able to innovate. And innovation can only happen if there is a plan that carves out deliberate time and resources for it. Strategic planning is what allows companies to innovate so that they can sustain their place in the market and continue to evolve.

In a recent blog post, I explained that the difference between setting a resolution and setting a goal is having a strategy in place. For start up businesses, the strategy is often contained within the original business plan. The document that garners interest with investors, vendors, and early customers holds the framework for achieving many of the early milestones. If it’s a good business plan with a realistic and viable strategy, the company will launch successfully and start to grow.

The initial business plan was a great first step, but it’s not appropriate for the ongoing strategic plan. This is where many business owners get in trouble. They get to a certain point on an existing plan, but they don’t keep up with the planning process. Without a strategy in place, they get stuck, or worse, fail to maintain the business they have. There is no magic revenue point, sales goal, or number of employees that a business must achieve before taking strategic planning seriously. In reality, the planning needs to begin the very second the first strategy starts producing positive results.

Beyond the Business Plan: Strategic Planning for Continued Growth

Business owners usually rely on a few experts to get their start-up off the ground. They may work with lenders, business coaches, brand strategists, and other professionals who help them put that first business plan into action.

Once the business gets going, many of those first experts have completed their job and move on. The owner is now at the top of the organization; they are the resident expert. In that capacity, they experience a lot of pressure to keep up the momentum for ongoing growth, but this time they are all on their own. This mindset can result in tunnel vision, planning paralysis, disorganized trial and error, or some combination of all of those. Despite having hired several competent individuals to take on various operational and management roles, the owner feels responsible for the entire strategic plan.

I meet many business owners and founders when they are in this very moment. They know that what got them to this point is not what will keep them growing. They also know that they need the input of others, but now that they are the top expert on their company, they are hesitant to collaborate. They may question whether or not they are ready for a strategic planning workshop, but they almost always are. After all, they have just about reached the end of what they can do with the initial business plan. That means they need to get a plan in place, and get it in place soon, if they want to meet their ongoing business goals and objectives.

Intentional Strategic Planning Fosters Growth

Just as business owners relied on the expertise of professionals to get started, they need to rely on new experts to continue innovative growth. If they refuse help, feeling fully responsible for the ongoing success of the business they’ve grown, overwhelm sets in fast. That is never conducive to effective strategic planning. 

The fact is, a business owner is only one person. They are a highly knowledgeable person who knows their business better than anyone. And yet, they tend to get “in the weeds” of the business. They may not have as close of an eye on the day-to-day operations or employee roles that they once did. They might not be as close to the customer mindset as they once were. They might not be as up-to-date on what the competition is doing these days. They need to work on the strategic plan with the people in their organization who do have an understanding of those things. What they need even more than that is a facilitator who can guide the strategic process for a truly organized, collaborative, and actionable plan.

My workshops are tailored to the size of each business and number of contributors to the strategic planning process. The benefit of investing in a professionally facilitated workshop is ensuring a productive session that maintains focus, elicits thoughtful feedback from all leaders, works through conflicting objectives on the spot, and wraps up with everyone knowing their next steps. The result is that the business has a new strategic plan that will build on that early momentum and growth for continued innovation. The earlier a business institutes a structured strategic planning process, the easier it will be to incorporate into the company’s culture.

Plan to Get Big While You’re Still Small

If you are a small business CEO or owner who has seen early success, and you are on the cusp of serious growth, congratulations! But this moment can be quite daunting. You have been following the plans you laid out to get you this far, and they suddenly don’t apply to the next steps. You’re ready for strategic planning. This process will help you define the next set of goals for your company and the steps your team will take to get there. Now that you have a team of leaders who are invested in your business growth, it’s vital to include them in strategy sessions. The result will be a comprehensive strategy that brings your entire organization into alignment in pursuit of your business goals.

To explore the next steps of innovative growth for your company, schedule a discovery call with me today. I work with companies of all sizes who are ready to grow by designing strategic planning workshops that optimize your time and resources. Your company goals are worth planning for.

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