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Is your plan YOUR Plan?

tuesday toolbox Jan 28, 2020

How often do you review your strategic plan and what exactly do you need to include?

Strategic planning is all about setting the direction for your business. It should include your vision, mission, and overarching goals as well as clearly outline your company values. It is critical to ensure that all of these elements are included as they should serve as the means by which you measure what actions you need to take. If an action does not fit your values or your vision/mission, then more than likely that is not the action you need to take to achieve your goals.

An article published by identifies five key components of a strategic plan (click here to read the full article):

  • Mission, vision, and aspirations.
  • Core values.
  • Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
  • Objectives, strategies, and operational tactics.
  • Measurements and funding streams.

The strategic plan is a full picture of your business and is the "map" which you should continually reference to measure and report your company's success.

But how often should you update your strategic plan?

Most companies review the plan on an annual basis at the end of the year so they can make updates, report findings, and adjust the plan for the coming year. But as a small business owner, you may find that revisiting your strategic plan more often may be necessary especially in those critical growth years. 

Why? For two main reasons:

  • Is your "why" still your "why"? - have your core values shifted and how does that impact your overall business mission and vision?
  • External factors - what is going on in the business landscape that may cause you to pivot? Consider for example if you are a technology-based business and how often the trends are updating?

What do I recommend? Set your strategy at the beginning of the year, and as you report your quarterly numbers, revisit it. Schedule a meeting with your team or your business coach and check your progress against your goals as well as the business environment and adjust as needed. You may find no adjustments are necessary, but more often than not, you may need to tweak your action steps to ensure you can meet or exceed your annual goals and it will be so much easier to shift/refocus/reframe a challenge earlier rather than later.

Looking for more support? Let us know in our Facebook community how you use strategic planning and get feedback from other WBEs to help you in your journey.

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