The previous blog was all about how to prepare to plan. A plan after all is only as good as the preparation you put into it. Now the preparation is complete you can start planning!
But first here is a most important point! All plans must be documented else it sits in your head and soon gets forgotten. Also, an undocumented plan makes it impossible to share and collaborate and monitor.
To create your strategic plan work through the following stages. Each stage helps you build onto the next.
Your first step is to have complete clarity around what YOU want in your future and what YOU want for your business. Your vision is your unique dream. It is what you want your business to become. It’s your big picture. It is what “pulls” you and your business forward. For more information on how to create your unique vision click here.
The Mission packs a punch when you take all of the reasons for your business and distill them into a precise, meaningful statement that tells us what the company does, who it serves and what sets it apart from the competition. The Mission becomes the filter for all future decisions and actions. Click here to learn how to create a Mission for your business.
Three Year Objectives
The purpose of setting Three Year Objectives is to be very clear where you want your business to be in three years time, so we know what needs to be done in the next year. Identify the key areas of future success and determine the target for each.
One Year Goals
Once we have the Three Year Objectives we need to develop the One Year Goals for each. To do this we use a tool called the Gap Analysis. Create a table with four columns, from left to right:
Column 1 – Three Year Objective
Column 2 – Current situation
Column 3 – The Gap between the current situation and the Three Year Objective
Column 4 – One Year Goal to start closing the gap
You can have more than one Goal per Objective but keep in mind that each Goal will result in many activities so don’t have too many.
One Year Goals are “what” you must do this year; Strategies are “how” you are going to achieve the Goal. Each Goal will have a number of Strategies and each Strategy has an Owner (the one person responsible for it) and a Milestone Date.
90 & 30 Day Focus
You now have a plan for the year. To ensure you stay on track you review the plan and identify what must be accomplished in the next 90 days if you are to achieve the one year goals. You further break the 90 days into 30 days for razor sharp focus.