Several months ago, Fast Company ran an article on the supposed demise of strategic planning in favor of strategic execution. Undoubtedly, many solopreneurs and owners of microenterprises leapt for joy as they read of its hypothetical passing. Perhaps it relieved some of the pressure felt of the need for a strategic plan.
Let’s face it…many of us as solopreneurs and owners of small businesses do not have MBA’s. In fact, I’m pretty confident when I say that most of us are “masters of our craft”. We’ve learned our profession well. Whether an attorney, accountant, copywriter, web designer, health care consultant or strategic business coach, we really just want to perform the profession for which we’ve honed our skills. And, we want to do so in an independent, entrepreneurial environment. Truth be told, all of this extra business stuff (aka strategic planning) can really get in the way of that enjoyment – or so it seems.
Before you’ll ever be convinced of the importance of engaging in a strategic planning process, one of the biggest obstacles to overcome may exist, not in the marketplace, but in your mind space. Throughout the years of working with entrepreneurs, I’ve heard all the reasons for not having a strategic business plan in place from “I don’t have time” to “I don’t need one” to “I’m not big enough”. Many of these objections come from false information. Perhaps you, like many artisans, have worked in corporate America where hours were spent on a strategic plan that later became a doorstop. It’s easy to see how that can leave a bad taste in your mouth.
However, from my experience with entrepreneurs, having a strategic plan in place is even more important for the small business owner. The amount of information and the volume of tasks you handle in a day is just plain dizzying. You need your strategic plan to keep you focused and on track.
With that said, let me share a few experiences you can look forward to with a strategic plan to guide your decisions:
- You’ll be more proactive.
- You’ll have more time and energy.
- You’ll be less stressed.
- You’ll be more intentional in your efforts.
- You’ll save money from ad hoc spending on ideas that are not well-though through.
- You’ll have greater clarity and will make smarter decisions.
- You’ll reduce your sense of overload and overwhelm.
- You’ll reduce hiring mistakes.
- You’ll avoid costly course-corrections midyear.
- You’ll be much more competitive.
- You’ll work smarter, not harder.
- And, my personal favorite, you’ll get to your destination faster.
Have I convinced you of the many rewards of a strategic plan? Don’t take my word for it. Experience for yourself the many advantages of working from a strategic plan by launching your strategic planning process today.