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Strategic Planning: Create A Roadmap For Success In Four Steps

Last Updated: May 26, 2023
roadway ahead with gps mapping on a car dashboard - metaphor for strategic planning

Move forward with clarity and confidence by creating a strategic plan that shows you where to focus.

How would it feel to know what to focus on next to achieve your goals over the next 12 months?

Good news! It’s easier than you think to reduce that overwhelming feeling of “having too much to do” and a clear a path to reach your goals.  

You just need to do two things: carving out time to get clarity and follow four steps to create a roadmap for success:

  1.  Refine your mission, vision, and values.
  2. Define success for your business – and yourself – this year.
  3. Decide what areas of your business are necessary to focus on to get that success, i.e. your strategic priorities.
  4. Determine the next steps to execute those strategic priorities over the next 3-12 months.

Refine Your Mission, Vision, and Values

Your plan only matters to the extent it’s aligned with your mission, vision, and values as a person and company. This trifecta defines the direction you’re headed and guides the important business decisions .

  • Is your mission statement still relevant? The essence of your mission or purpose is why you exist. Has there been a change in who you serve, how you serve them, or the reason why you do it?
  • Does your vision look right? Have you expanded or changed what you see for yourself, your business, and its impact in the world over the next 3,5 or 10 years? Do your current lifestyle and business model align with this vision? 
  • Do your core values drive your behavior? Are you – and your team – clear on what you stand for and how you want to do business? Pro Tip: if you’ve never written down your core values, do that as soon as possible.

Even if your mission, vision, and values haven’t changed, make sure you’ve documented and communicated them to those you work with. They guide your team’s work and everything in your business.

Define What Success Looks Like for Your Business - and You - This Year

What big-picture goals do you have? Are you working to reach your next $100K or $1 million, hire more team members, or fulfilling your dream of delivering a Ted Talk?

Revisit your business goals and timeline – and write down anything that’s changed.

Then, do assessment of eight strategic pillars in your business. Evaluate what you’d like to achieve or what needs to change in each to achieve your goals:

  1. Financial Strength
  2. Product/Service Innovation
  3. Visibility and  Marketing 
  4.  Business Development and Sales 
  5. Operations 
  6. Team Growth
  7. Customer Experience
  8. Leadership and Culture (including your personal growth!)

A clear definition of success will sharpen your day-to-day focus and build strategic momentum. 

Decide Where You Need to Focus in Your Business, a.k.a. Your Strategic Priorities

Go back to your strategic business pillar assessment. Did anything jump out at you? You probably noticed some areas seemed more important than others.

For example, if you have a solid business model and are struggling to keep up with the demands of serving your customers, team growth and operations may be a top priority. Or, if sales are lagging and you need to generate more leads to sustain the business, your focus will be marketing and sales.

Decide what the top 2-3 strategic pillars are to focus on your business. By knowing what strategic pillars you need to prioritize, you can focus time, energy, and money on what your business is “asking” for. 

Pro Tip: Prioritize where you need to focus by identifying the most important problems you need to solve.

Determine How You Will Tackle Those Strategic Priorities Over the Next 3–12 Months

Here’s where you translate your priorities into a success roadmap to guide your actions and investments:

  1. For each of your strategic pillars, list the things you need to do to achieve the goals you identified. Brainstorm related initiatives, projects, and tasks. 
  2. Take each of these things and slot them into a quarter, focusing on implementation for the next two quarters.
  3. Focus first on the strategic pillars you prioritized to keep this from becoming overwhelming.

Congratulations! You now have a roadmap rooted in your vision, fueled by priorities, and anchored in the reality of the projects and initiatives you have to achieve.

Having a Strategic Roadmap Charts a Successful Path for You and Your Team to Follow

Your strategic roadmap defines what success looks like and charts a path to follow to reach your goals. 

Need help creating a strategic roadmap to guide your business forward? 
Let’s chat.

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