Whether you are a major online retailer or the owner of a fast-growing startup, you are committed to driving your business success.
As the year comes to a close, it’s the perfect time to create a strategic plan for next year. Take time to access what kind of year it’s been for your business. Pinpoint what is working and identify what isn’t. That way you can elevate your game and knock it out of the park for the coming year.
Kick-start your strategic planning with this step-by-step template. In this article, we will explain what a small business strategic plan is. We will also guide you through the steps you need to take to build one for your business.
Why a Strategic Plan is Important
Strategic planning helps your company improve its performance. It brings ideas on how to restructure it and realize its highest potential. A strategic plan helps you to identify new opportunities or challenges. Plus, it points out the best ways to face them.
Without a plan, it’s hard to stay focused. You may spend money, time, and valuable resources getting sidetracked without achieving what really matters. A strategic plan forces you to access where you are, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and what you want to achieve. Then you map out exactly how you are going to achieve that.
Ready? Let’s Get Started!
Step 1: Access your Performance. Your end of year review is a time for reflection. Head somewhere quiet. Block out your calls. Shut down social media. Grab a cup of coffee and take time to review, think, and rate all your business efforts for the year.
- How did the year turn out?
- What major accomplishments did you achieve?
- Did you earn the profits you hoped for?
- Were your content marketing efforts successful for lead generation?
- How successful were your new product and service launches?
- How is your positioning in the marketplace?
- Were you able to build your influence and credibility in the marketplace?
- Who is your biggest competition right now?
- How close did you come to achieving your goals?
- Would you rate your lead generation efforts?
- What are your website rankings?
- How many subscribers do you have on your email marketing list?
- How many followers do you have on each of your social platforms?
- What media exposure did you gain over the past year?
If you don’t take time to access your performance, your areas where you could improve or grow. Plus, when you see what worked, you can leverage that strategy for next year’s growth.
Step 2: Set goals. They say if you don’t know where you are going, that any road will get you there. That’s why as head of your company, you have to move forward with intention. Goals are the map to your success.
- What is your mission, vision, and values for the coming year?
- What outcomes would you like to see next year?
- What were your strengths last year and how can you capitalize on them?
- What were your weaknesses and what can you do to improve on that?
- What is your revenue goal for next year?
- What new products and services would you like to launch next year?
- In what ways would you like to enhance your company brand and influence?
- What target market do you want to focus on next year?
- How many leads do you need in your sales pipeline to achieve your sales goals?
- What can you do to enhance and streamline your operations? Do you need to improve security? Are your systems backups in place? Do you have the team members you need? Does any software need to be upgraded?
The best part is you don’t have to do this all alone. Getting professional insight from a Digital Marketing Agency can ensure your marketing objectives are on track. They can help you project what’s possible and create a plan to make it happen.
Step 3: Action Plan. This is where you connect the dots and make it happen. Take a look at each of your goals. Then write the tools and resources you’ll need a game plan to accomplish that.
Profits: Drive profits by 25%.by the end of the year. We can achieve this with new service/product offerings.
Services: Create a new financial mastermind class to launch by the end of March.
Products: Launch new virtual diagnosis app to help people diagnose binge spending by June.
Customers: Grow the customer list by 30% by working with a digital marketing agency for lead generation services.
Website: Launch a blog with weekly financial advice and promotions for products and services by January.
Rankings: Improve Google rankings for local search optimization. Identify local counties and towns and develop blog articles optimized for each region. Could feature a local customer success story for each area.
Positioning: Increase influence and authority by writing a new book and separate yourself by becoming a thought leader in your industry. Be sure to identify the target audience effectively to ensure you are helping the right demographic.
Content: Develop a content calendar mapping out the posts for the blog, Facebook, LinkedIn. As an example…
New Service Announcement(s)
COVID Related Updates
Plans to Help Clients More
Updates Related to Specials
Employee Updates/New Hires
Step 4: Work the Plan. Now that you know your priorities, you have to set aside the time, energy, and resources to achieve these goals. Print out your goals so they are in front of you. Carve out time from your schedule when you will work on these goals.
You don’t have to achieve your goals by yourself. As a smart business owner, you need to leverage the power of delegation. For everything you want to achieve there is someone else with the expertise to make it happen.
Do what you do best, then delegate the rest. As the owner, you want to focus on business development and making sure things stay on track. Who could you outsource to and clear your plate?
Here’s a list of items you can delegate and get off your plate.
- Sign up with Calendly to manage your client appointments.
- Have a virtual assistant manage your email and schedule.
- Outsource your social media management.
- Work with a business coach to improve my execution
- Hire a digital marketing agency to update the website for SEO and add new products and services.
- Find a freelance writer to develop a lead generation freebie to build an email list.
- Build pipeline by hiring lead generation services to generate a steady flow of leads.
Write your Small Business Strategic Plan!
When your strategic plan is completed, it becomes a framework for creating a more detailed plan with action items to achieve those goals. Setting priorities minimizes conflicts. It improves focus. It controls the use of resources. It makes results more predictable.
Whatever your business situation, this strategic plan framework is intended to help. When you invest time in planning, it changes your thinking, actions, and results. So take action and start implementing right away.
At Local Business Marketing Solutions, we are driven to share ideas and information to help small businesses thrive. It is our passion. If you still think you need additional help with a strategic plan, then why not grab our free guide to unlock your business growth here. It is a small business playbook generated with you in mind. Click here to request a free copy