“What is the difference between strategic planning and the traditional business planning?”
Do you know the answer to that question??? How about this one, “Why as an online entrepreneur do you need both and is it necessary for you to have a strategic plan in place?” Let me answer these questions for you!
Strategic planning focuses on the overall direction and vision for your company. It includes long term, big vision goals. A business plan usually centers around the day to day operations of your business.
Let’s think about it like a GPS comparison…Your strategic plan is your ENTIRE road trip around the country. The business plan is the individual road maps you will need to get your from one destination to the other so you can continue on your trip.
A strategic plan takes a look at your bigger vision. It addresses questions like “Where is your business now and where do you want it to go?” Most importantly “HOW is it going to get there?” “What is the growth you are looking to see in your business?” These are all questions that get answered when you create a strategic plan. Once you have your point A and your point B, the strategic plan is then used to break this down and put the action plan in place to get your business moving in the desired direction for growth.
When you are starting to think about your strategic plan there are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
- Where is your business now? What is bringing in the most profit (not revenue), and what is your most efficient process?
- Where are you looking to take it? Not next month, not in the next 6 months – Think bigger than that. Where do you want your business to be in 3 years? Where do you want it to be in 5 years? You need to think about this from more of a financial standpoint. Often times as entrepreneurs we are driven by financial goals, but your bigger vision and strategic plan should include lifestyle goals. In 3 years, do you wish to have employees? Do you wish to outsource tasks so you can take multiple vacations a year? Do you wish to have a business that is bringing in passive income and you are only working 10 hours a week? This is the broad range you need to be thinking about when creating your strategic plan.
- What do you need to do to get there? What changes need to be made? How are you going to implement the action items? What structure needs to be in place for the growth to happen?
Now the title of this blog indicated there are things you MUST include in your strategic plan. Let’s talk about those!
As you are thinking about putting together your strategic plan, here are THREE key factors you MUST include:
- Objectives – This includes major goals that need to happen to hit your overall objective. This includes new product development, client acquisition etc.
- Implementation – What steps needs to be in place to implement the action plan you created to meet the objectives of the strategic plan? Where can it be broken down into smaller goals that can be evaluated as you go? This is where your business and action plan come into play. Your business and action plan, you will use to implement your strategic plan in smaller, bite sized goals and plans.
- Resources – WHO needs to be involved in this? This includes business partners, accountants, consultants, strategists. This also includes financial resources, software, tools, equipment etc. You don’t (and most often can’t) implement this alone nor should you try. Growth of a business requires help. Bring on and allocate the resources you will need for growth and implementation.
When you are creating your strategic plan it should challenge your traditional way of thinking when it comes to growth. It will force your mind to think bigger. It will challenge you to think about all the objectives of WHY you started your online business in the first place and needs to have deadlines and measurable milestones for you in your business. Monitoring your implementation and expectations of your plan is something you will need to actively do in predetermined milestone or increments.
Now that you know what a strategic plan is and what THREE things you need to include in a strategic plan, how are you going to develop yours? Let me remind you; GROWTH OF A BUSINESS REQUIRES HELP. If you struggle to create your strategic plan on your own, invest in a strategist or a consultant that can help you create a plan, follow through with action, and keep on the track you need to be on for growth. I would love to help you get your plan off the ground. Schedule a FREE no obligation strategy call today!