Don’t Forget These 5 Things When Creating a Strategic Plan

In today’s post, I will give you five ‘not so obvious’ things you may have forgotten to include when creating a strategic plan. But first, I’m going to give you my 4 phased framework for conducting your strategic planning activity…

4 Phased Strategic Planning Process

4 Phased Strategic Planning Framework

1 Determine position. You may have thought it starts with developing the strategy – Nope. To know how to move forward in your business and with your strategy it is important to fully understand where you are currently strategically, financially, and where you may have opportunities.

2 Develop Strategy. This is where you reaffirm your vision and understand the approaches you want to take to realize it. Defining where you want your business to be in 3-5 years is key to creating a strategic plan. Nothing worse than a strategy and plans that do not get you to your ideal state.

3 Build Plan. Now you are ready to create a blueprint for the ‘how’. It is where you define the exact current year goals, targets, and measures you need so you get closer to your vision.

4 Manage Project. We can agree that a strategy and plan with no action is not very effective. In this fourth phase, you set yourself up for success by implementing mechanisms for staying true to our plan and reviewing progress along the way. This helps you turn your strategy into action.

Whether at the beginning of the year or any other time of the year, these are the phases I dig into with business owners during their strategic planning sessions. It is having this in place as a starting point for getting clarity that allows business owners to be more strategic, intentional – and less overwhelmed – in being true CEOs.

So, let’s get back to some of the things I see business owners unintentionally miss when they go through a strategic planning exercise.


5 Things Not to Forget When Creating a Strategic Plan

We’re a few weeks into 2022 and many business owners are putting the final touches on or creating a strategic plan. You have started the year fully energized around how you will get more profitable in your business while also creating more harmony between your business and personal life. Because let’s face it, none of us started businesses to be overwhelmed, exhausted, and all over the place.

That is the beauty of creating a strategic plan. You get to reaffirm your vision for success, create a strategy for leveraging your business’s opportunities, and design a plan for achieving your strategy.

You probably have it locked and loaded, but here are five ‘not so obvious’ things you may have forgotten to include when creating a strategic plan.

Change your scenery

Strategic planning is best done away from your normal office environment. Why, you ask? There are a couple of reasons removing yourself helps with the process.

  • Getting away helps you think differently. Changing your scenery stimulates a different thought process. Artists do this a lot! Authors, songwriters, painters remove themselves from their normal setting to stimulate creativity. CEOs and leaders need that as well. I hear Jamaica is nice.
  • It prevents distractions from creeping in. Whether you are working from home or going into your office location, being in your same location mentally and physically create space for interruptions to occur. Your brain has been trained to associate that specific place with daily work. Think of it like when you go on vacation, and you are less concerned about are the dishes washed or answering the phones calls immediately. Getting away tricks your brain into being less tied to the distractions.
  • It keeps entrepreneurial burnout at bay. When you are working day in and day out in your business, especially when you have less time to be strategic and creative, entrepreneurial burnout starts to creep in. When you remove yourself from your typical work environment, it helps renew your passion for the freedom you are creating.
Don’t forget the team

It is a common mistake for small business owners to go off and be heads down in strategic planning, only to emerged with a plan their team will not buy into or cannot execute effectively. Couple that with the team not having full understanding of the detailed thought processes and analysis that went into the plan and this is a recipe for chaos and overwhelm.

While you do not need to include every employee in the activity, to turn your strategy into an executable plan, it is critical to include key team members. Invite key leaders because after all, they have the heads down view of how the company is performing. These leaders will also be able to offer you a different perspective, which is always good for growth. Consider also inviting your administrative assistant who can document the results, assign actions, and schedule follow ups along the way.

Don’t have a team? Invite a trusted business friend to tag along and provide additional perspective.

Include due dates on everything

For every goal and objective, basically everything you have in your strategic plan, include due dates. Deadlines are what keep us on track to our plan but are also what prevents us from overloading ourselves at any given time. Without deadlines, it is difficult to understand and focus on the right priorities. Let’s face it, not everything can be done in January or first quarter. Add deadlines to get you focused on the ‘right now’ and reduce overwhelm. Don’t forget to include deadlines when creating your strategic plan so you know where to concentrate and when.

Schedule your performance reviews

One thing small business owners forget to include when creating a strategic plan is regular checkups of the plan itself. While your overall vision for your business will likely remain unchanged, it is highly likely that as the year goes on things will happen that present the need to tweak your plan a little. Changes like industry developments, government policies…umm pandemics…can all cause the need for you to take another look at your strategic plans. You could also just get some new revelations about your business and how you want to move forward.

You may believe your business is not big enough for holding business performance reviews but scheduling regular reviews of your performance and your strategic plan can help you be more proactive with your decision making. Put monthly and quarterly business performance reviews on your calendar right now. Like right right now! This will help you stick to your plans and intentionally keep you informed about your progress.

Assume you will take time off

Every hour, day, and week will not be filled with business to-dos. Your business creates a level of life freedom. Be intentional in your planning and on how to make freedom happen for you as a business owner.

Planning a girls’ trip? Don’t want to miss any family birthdays? Self-care time and other fun things in your life should be given space when creating your strategic plan. Business owners often forget to take time for themselves. Do not forget to include your time off when creating your plans.

Have a question about creating a strategic plan? Email your question to