Strategic Planning: Create A Roadmap For Success In Four Steps

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 for growth.

You haven’t let go of your big dreams despite the adversity of 2020 and  2021. And you’re excited for new opportunities and possibilities in 2022. But figuring out how to tackle the year strategically can be intimidating . Luckily, you can create a strategic roadmap to guide you.

Investing time to get clear on where you’re going and identifying the priority projects to get you there will save you from wasting precious time and resources pursuing things that won’t help you grow.

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 many decisions you’ll need to make this year.

As you look ahead, take some time to evaluate:

  • Is your mission statement still relevant? The essence of your mission is who you serve and how you serve them. Has there been a change in what you do, your customer focus, or the reason you do it?
  • Does your vision feel right? Have you expanded or changed what you see for yourself, your business, and its impact in the world over the next 3-5 years? Do your current lifestyle, business, and trajectory align with this vision? 
  • Have your values shifted? Are you clear on what you stand for and how you want to do business? Especially given the challenge of the last two years you may find the values you used to hold have changed . Hint: if you’ve never written down your values, set some time aside to do that as soon as possible.

Even if your mission, vision, and values haven’t changed, don’t miss the opportunity to bring them into the spotlight for 2021. Make sure you’ve documented and communicated them to your team. After all, they guide your team’s work and everything in your business.

Articulate What Success Looks Like for You and the Business in 2022 to Guide Your Trajectory

Do you have long-term goals you’re working toward? Goals like hitting your next $100K or $1 million, hiring more team members, or fulfilling your dream of delivering a Ted Talk? If so, now’s the time to revisit your goals for the business and yourself.

Try the following evaluation exercise to get a holistic view of what success looks like. Evaluate what you’d like to achieve or change in each of the strategic pillars of your business (common ones listed below):

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

A clear idea of success provides day-to-day focus and builds organizational momentum to get you where you want to be. 

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

Look at how you defined success for each of your strategic pillars of business. 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 financial strength and business development/sales.

By knowing what strategic pillars you need to prioritize, you can better allocate time and resources to 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 roadmap for action to guide your business:

  1. For each of your strategic pillars, list the things you need to do to achieve the goals you identified. Brainstorm all the 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 in 2022 based on your mission, vision, and values. It also defines which parts of your business you need to focus on to make meaningful, measurable progress. 

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

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