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What's the plan

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No matter where you are in the year it is never too late to create a strategic plan.  It can be a strategic advantage over those who do not have one.  Whether you are a solopreneur or small business owner to up your game with a strategic plan for yourself, your business, or both!  Like my client with whom I share their story in this blog, you have a choice–Do you want to survive or thrive?

When I met with John & Annie, they had a desire for better clarity for their business.  Also, a strong desire to scale their business in the next 3 years.  I began by asking a few discovery questions:

  • “What is your “strategy” for your business?”
  • “What then is your plan for getting your business from where it is now to where you want it to be?”
  • “What also is your plan for getting yourselves from where you are now to where you want to be as a leader/owner of your business?

Well, I got that deer in the headlight look and the response “those are great questions”.  Of course, they followed up with the fact that they know having a strategic plan is important for their business and themselves and yet both proceeded to rattle off 5 reasons as to why that hadn’t happened yet.

  • Things change so fast – we just weren’t sure a plan would work for us. Plus we have a lot of plans in our heads.
  • John expressed that he felt a plan would just take away from the freedom/spontaneity of opportunities that may come up for the business. He stated he tends to have more of the “wing it” type approach to self and the business.
  • Annie, on the other hand, shared that she tends to be a highly confident and highly optimistic person compared to John, which tends to cause her to have more of the “wing it” type approach to self and the business.
  • Both were working so much in the business that they found little time/energy to work on the business.
  • Lastly, the entire process seemed just too overwhelming.

Yes, the process can seem OVERWHELMING; yet it’s relatively easy to create a one-page plan especially when you have a neutral party to facilitate the process.  The hard part?  Execution of it.

Research shows 90% fail at the execution of the plan 
 What happened next…

I asked what would it be worth to your business if you could have:  Alignment, Clarity & Focused Accountability.  Both knew that one of the biggest things impacting their business was “changing priorities and unplanned projects” and the root cause of this was no plan to keep them on track.  So basically, they said it would more than likely have more value than they even realize at this date and time.

I shared with them it would also give them a large competitive advantage in the marketplace they play in as it has been my experience over the last 25 years that most businesses do not have a written strategic plan.

I proceeded to share the one-page strategic tool that I utilize and customize it for each client.  I shared that this one-page plan will be like a sports team’s playbook that is created, studied, optimized, memorized, and tested in every game.  Plus, I shared that a mentor of mine, Verne Harnish, stated “if you want to get everyone in the company on the same page, then you need to literally get everything on one page.”  (Verne Harnish is the author of “Scaling Up”, the guru for fast-growth companies and creator of the one-page strategic plan)

The One-Page Strategic Plan Tool Simply Asks:

  • What is our strategy?
  • Where are we going?
  • Who will be the players?
  • What is the reason it matters?
  • How will we get there?

I also shared that during the process numerous tools and questions would be utilized to create their one-page plan.  We’d first look at “where are you now?” and then start looking at “where do you want to be?”  Lastly, I shared that a few mindset shifts would be needed on their part to make both the successful creation and execution of their one-page plan.

The Mindset Shift

  • This is not a one-and-done event it is a process
  • Execution of the plan requires rituals embedded through daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly meeting rhythms. That is what keeps the plan “frequently discussed” and “transparent”
  • Be willing to look at yourselves as leaders
  • Be prepared to test assumptions
  • Be curious and open to what is possible
  • It won’t be perfect – it’s a simple yet powerful tool and is changeable
  • Realize that the process is about making decisions. It is as much about what should we stop doing as much as it is about what we should start doing
What happened next…

We scheduled some time and got started co-creating the plan.  What were some of the results in the first year for these business owners:  more time to spend on their highest priority activities and less time in those darn weeds, increased cash flow, increased revenue, and reduction in going after those shiny “objects” (hence started knowing what to say no to and what to say yes to).

There are numerous articles, blogs, and YouTube videos on strategic planning, suggesting it is the one thing that in doing so can make everything else easier or unnecessary—so if all that advice is true what will be your next steps forward?

Meet The Blogger

Hi, I’m Jane Weddle
a Business & Life Coach

Jane has a master’s degree in organizational development and a background in human performance & business and has 30+ years of coaching and consulting in a variety of industries.

She also holds many coach-specific certifications and is a lifelong learner with a few other certifications in her related field.

Her passion helping small business owners, solopreneurs, leaders, and executives who are ready to tap into their true potential from the inside out!

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