Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Creating My Strategic Plan
Strategic planning for my Q4 business took place on a free day before a presentation. I arrived at my hotel at around lunchtime on Thursday, and did not have to meet my client until Friday morning. There was not much to do in the area of the hotel, and thus I dedicated the afternoon to deep and focused thinking about what I need to accomplish in my business over the next few months. When you are a solo-entrepreneur and working alone it is no less important to have a plan and goals for success.
Each quarter I try to create targets for my attention and intentional business actions. I must wear all the hats and it is easy to get distracted or lured away from the big picture of growing my business. While serving my clients is my number one priority, without a solid business development focus there will not be new association and corporate conferences (or internal company training) where I can do the work.
If someone was sitting by the hotel pool watching my third floor window they would have wondered what I bizarre stuff was doing. I had collected a list issues that impact my company, and I put these on Post-it-Notes. I stuck these notes to the window and moved them around as my mind contemplated the priorities and marketing ideas for the later part of the year. I then used a dry erase pen to make notes on the window and annotate my thoughts before transferring my brain dump into a two page strategic document.
I spent three hours on this exercise, and I have already begun to execute on some of the ideas (why wait until October 1st to begin making progress?). The key is to take these concepts and translate them into actions.
You do not need to be a solo-entrepreneur or the boss to create a strategic plan for your business. All of us are the owners of our own careers. When I coach lawyers (and other executives) the once who have noticeable results are the once with a clear plan who take it seriously. Those who do not think about their goals and targets just got through each day tackling whatever comes their way. It is harder to reach your desired level of success without a plan.
Have A Great Day