If you’ve been in business for a while, you may be experiencing a problem. This problem may not be something that keeps you up late at night, but it certainly should grip your attention.
The common problem? Strategic planning that’s more improvised guesswork than anything else.
Every year business owners and management teams get together to plan out the next year—vision, goals, revenue target, hiring plans, and so on. Unfortunately, nothing really happens beyond that meeting.
With that in mind, we have put together seven questions to boost your strategic planning meetings as we move into 2014.
Do 2014 differently
- What are you trying to achieve? What does success look like specifically?
- Did you accomplish what you wanted in 2013? Why or why not?
- What caused the biggest problem this year? What will you do to prevent it from happening next year?
- If a perfect competitor opened up across the street from you tomorrow, what would they be like? *
- If someone came in and became the new boss, what would they change or pursue?
- What additional knowledge, skills, or resources are needed to achieve your goals?
- In order to accomplish your strategic goals, who is going to do what, and when?
Don’t use fuzzy words like “leverage,” “incremental growth,” or “more sales.” Clearly lay out what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it. And then the fun part begins, actually doing it.
One last thought: don’t take another whole year to review where your company is. Next summer, make sure to ask these same questions.
Here’s to a fantastic 2014!
*Seth Godin: Small is the New Big, Portfolio Publications, 2006