Creating a Small Business Vision and Strategic Plan

May 11, 2017 | Roger and Susie Engelau

Isn’t creating a small business vision and strategic plan unnecessary, better left to the large corporations?

Are you 100% certain that your business will deliver 100% of your personal and family goals?

Do all of your employees feel the same sense of accountability in your company as you do?

In a small business, creating a small business vision and strategic plan is the one way to get every employee engaged. It’s also the only way to get complete confidence that what you’re doing each day is definitely driving profit and growth.

In this post, we’re covering 7 steps to creating a small business vision and strategic plan. It’s every step you need to have confidence that your business will achieve the personal outcomes you want, that everyone else in your business will achieve their personal goals, and that they’re all just as dedicated to strong performance as you are.

It’s the 4th post in our SERVANT Whole-Business Model blog series – the “V” of SERVANT is for “Vision & Planning.”

7 Steps to Creating a Small Business Vision and Strategic Plan

Here are the 7 steps we lead our clients through in creating a small business vision and strategic plan for their companies:

1. Develop Personal & Business Vision & “WHY”

It starts with what we refer to as “the alignment process.” We walk through a series of questions to identify the personal outcomes you want at different stages of your life—5, 10, 20, and 30 years out (depending on your age), then reconstruct your business vision to make sure it’s going to deliver the personal outcomes you want.

You also want to identify your “why,” from Simon Sinek’s book “Finding Your Why.” If you’re clear on why you started the business in the first place, it gives you purpose and energy plus, you automatically attract both customers and employees who share your why. You can also read about how to identify your why in my blogpost where you can get a 1-page worksheet to quickly walk you through the steps.

2. Create Strategic & Action Planning Discipline

We use a 1-page strategic plan document that our clients update quarterly. It’s accompanied by a 90-day Action Plan—another 1-pager—that’s updated quarterly to insure you’re on track to meet your strategic plan. Finally, any business needs to have some kind of regular planning rhythm, like a monthly meeting of the leadership team, to insure that you and your leaders constantly engage in priority actions that keep your organization on track.

3. Align Team With Vision-Mission-Values

Aligning the team with vision-mission-values is about getting everyone on board with what the organization’s trying to accomplish; then they know what behaviors and values they’re going to use to move down that path. This includes helping each team member identify the personal outcomes they want from being part of the business.

4. Establish Common Goals & Accountabilities

This is where the alignment turns into actionable steps. Using the strategic plan, break it down into actions and assign accountability to specific people, making sure to include every team member.

5. Create Scoreboard & Metrics for Everyone

This is the next step in the accountability establishment… there’s something about measuring performance that makes people feel accountable. Every great organization does this. It’s critical that everyone understands how to measure the organization’s success and, in turn, their own success.

6. Engage “A” Customers & Vendors in Plan

We tend to think of customers as external but if we engage them in our plans… share our thinking about where we’re going, even get their input and involvement, they’ll be helpful, understanding, and loyal.

7. Achieve Vision, Planning, & Alignment Synergy

Pull it altogether and make sure it’s happening consistently. You know when you’ve succeeded at creating a small business vision and strategic plan when everyone’s engaged and you feel confident that good things are happening every single quarter. Now you’re moving in a straight line toward your vision.

While you’re creating a small business vision and strategic plan you’re also creating dedicated employees, loyal customers, confidence in your business-running abilities, and peace of mind that your personal and family goals will be achieved.