October is International Strategic Planning Month, which means it’s time for us, the dreamers, the doers, and the entrepreneurs, to look at the big picture, align our vision, and forge ahead with renewed vigor. If you’re like me, a business owner and entrepreneur enthusiast, there’s a particular message that I’d like to share: Keep it simple.
Simplicity in Strategy – October is International Strategic Planning Month
I’ve seen a pattern emerge over the years; the businesses that make the most progress tend to keep their core strategies simple and focused. This doesn’t mean compromising on ambition or vision; it merely means concentrating your energy where it matters most.
It’s taken me years to figure this out, and it was only recently in my accountability group that I was introduced to a simpler, easier way to lay out my strategic plan, gather input from my leadership team, and be able to create a system where we’re all working the strategic plan together.
The temptation to cover all bases is real. With so much at stake and so many possibilities on the horizon, we often want to tackle everything all at once. But true progress lies in prioritization. So, what should that look like for you?
Your Annual Plan: 3-5 Key Goals
Instead of being overwhelmed by the dozens of things you could do, focus on what you should do. For most businesses, especially those in their early and growth stages, pinpointing 3-5 major goals for the year is a great starting point.
- Your Service or Product: This is the heart of your business. Is there room for improvement or innovation?
- Customer Centered: Without your customers, you don’t have a business. How can you enhance their experience?
- People Centered: Whether it’s hiring, training, or culture-building, your team is your most valuable resource. What can you add to encourage your team?
- Sales & Marketing: Spreading the word and continually creating a customer base is crucial. How can you optimize your current strategies?
By focusing on these core areas, you can channel your resources more efficiently, resulting in more effective outcomes.
Quarterly Breakdown: Specific, Measurable Milestones
Now that you have your annual goals set, it’s time to get granular. Breaking these down into quarterly goals ensures you maintain momentum and keep a close eye on your progress. Every three months, sit down and assess:
- What did we achieve?
- Where did we fall short?
- What can we do differently in the next quarter?
Use these insights to adapt your strategies for the coming months. The idea is to keep the cycle of planning, executing, reviewing, and adjusting alive throughout the year.
Embracing International Strategic Planning Month
2023’s International Strategic Planning Month is not just a calendar event but an opportunity to recalibrate. As we join businesses around the globe in celebrating this occasion, let’s do more than just make plans. Let’s simplify, focus, and act.
The path to success may be complex, but your strategy doesn’t have to be. Embrace simplicity, keep your eye on the essentials, and continue to propel your business forward. Here’s to a productive & fruitful 4th quarter!