How to Create a Strategic Roadmap for Your Business

How to create a strategic roadmap for your business. Free planning template to help you create a solid plan for your business.   #strategy #marketing #planning #businestips #business #retail #goals #success #businesstips #marketing101

Strategic Planning helps businesses get to what they want to accomplish. It forces us to make choices on the direction of our lives and our businesses so that we can have clarity on our vision and the steps to get there. It is the single most impactful activity a business can perform to help them grow and achieve their goals and one of the last activities that people think about.

Strategic planning can be intimidating, the word in itself, STRATEGY is scary, because whose to say you are right?

Goals are also scary and many people fear this process because of the worry of not achieving these things.

Once you put these things on paper it becomes real and tangible or in worst-case scenario, really difficult to achieve.

I have 2 things to say to that:

Buck the F* up and Fear Not, I got your back!

Let’s make this easy for you, here is what we are going to talk about today.

Overview of the Strategic Planning Process

Strategic planning in a nutshell. Why you need a strategic plan for your business!
  • Where do you want to go?
  • Where are you now?
  • How are you going to get there?
  • What is going to get in your way?

Steps to Strategic Planning & Creating a Roadmap for Your Business

“You know the business plan won’t survive its first encounters with reality. It will always be different. The reality will never be the plan, but the discipline of writing the plan forces you to think through some of the issues and to get sort of mentally comfortable in the space.”

Jeff Bezos

Before Beginning Your Strategic Planning Process: Carve Out the Time

You need to create space in your schedule to have dedicated thinking time.

Strategic Planning for your business is not a two-hour activity.

It will require you (and your leadership team if applicable) to clear your schedule for a minimum of a day so that you can take a step back to look at the bigger picture.

Some businesses have found that having a strategic offsite allows for focused working time outside of the office to focus on Strategic Planning.

If you really want to get serious, I recommend that you take a weekend or a two-day span where you can work through what you hope to achieve as well as how you will get there.

If your schedule will not permit you to have a full or multiple days to focus on strategic planning for your business then I would recommend that you carve out a minimum of two-half day sessions without distractions or interruptions.

If you still are unable to carve out this interrupted working time, then I recommend you read my blog post on How to Reclaim Your Time.

As I noted before Strategic planning is the single most important activity you can perform in your business and so devoting the time is mission critical to a successful business model.

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    Where Do You Want to Go: Identify your Vision

    This may seem like a cliché step, however this the most important piece within your Strategic Planning process as it will give you clarity everyday as you work to achieve your goals. We each need this clarity to avoid the scatter in our everyday lives, and to put one foot in front of the other to get closer to what we want.

    When your vision is unclear it is like you are blind to your destination. It is essentially trying to find your way from one side of the continent to the other without a map. The vision guides you back and that is what is the essence of strategic planning.

    Benefits to a Compelling Vision:

    1) Keep the fire in your belly! Your vision will help you know your why, which will keep motivated and moving toward your goals!

    2) Your vision will become the anchor in your business. It will guide your decision making.

    3) Your Vision will be an intrical part of your sales process. Everything will ladder back to your company goals.

    How to Identify your Vision: What do you want?

    What do I want for my life in the next 3-5 years?

    You may also decide to go further and have a 10-year goal, however 3-5-year goal is an optimal time frame for projecting your vision.

    What does your ideal business look like?

    Where do you want to take your business? These goals may be produced from last year’s goals; however, it is important to not only identify a sales goal, but those pie in the sky visions that are what you may consider a stretch goal, but one that is achievable with the right focused energy.

    What would I love (not just like) to create?

    What would have the largest amount of impact on my customers and those that follow my business?

    Now take these big ideas and define what each section of your business would look like for this to come true:

    • Operations
    • Staffing
    • Product / Service Offerings
    • Systems
    • Marketing

    Think of this like a blueprint for your house, design the way it would look so that you have a descriptive idea of what it should look like in the future.

    Then for each vision goal ask yourself…Why do I want this?

    Connect to the meat of the reason why you’re doing what you’re doing and how it would feel to achieve those goals.

    Connecting to this reason will be motivation every day, especially in the times of struggle and difficulty. It will also help to redirect your focus.

    If you are getting off track you can go back to your why and know that it will realign you with the greater purpose of WHY your doing what your doing.

    Then ask yourself, what does success look like if this is achieved.

    Where are you Now? Know Your Starting Point


    Your mission identifies your company's purpose and goals. Make this simple to understand. This is not a marketing exercise; this is the essence of your company today.


    • Why you exist
    • What you provide
    • Who your ideal customer is


    Knowing who you are and how you want the customer to think of your brand is extremely important.

    Values are the core standards that your company lives by. Typically, companies choose 5 core principles to represent their business and write a description for each value.

    No matter if your business is big or small, you need to show up every day representing your values. Representing what you stand for will help build brand identity and establish trust with your customer.

    Align your Strategy to your Purpose

    The goal is to align your strategy to the core of your business. Each should support the other in business and it will only make your business more cohesive.

    Internal and External Review – Where are we?

    Internal Assessment:

    One option is to perform a survey / internal feedback from your employees to understand their perspective.

    As a small business time is limited, but consider evaluating your business through the two ways below.

    WHY? Because writing down where you are now creates a starting point and gives you a reference line to go back to when your an amazing success!

    Swot analysis and why it is important to your business
    • Option 1: Current State review of each area of your business: (SWOT) for each.
      • PRO TIP: DO NOT GET OVERWHELMED!!!!! This can be scribbles on a sheet of paper. Do this from a 20,000 foot view and summarize.
        • Marketing
        • Management
        • Operations
        • Finances
        • Products / Services
        • Research & Development
        • Human Resources
        • Systems
      • Ask these questions:
        • What Worked
        • What Didn’t Work
        • Are there opportunities in this area?
    • Too Much? Opt for Option 2: Swot Analysis (Strengths / Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats) for the visions that you indicated.
      • Think of each goal and use the template below to create your SWOT.
      • Categories to consider
        • Price, service, delivery, benefits, variety of product may all be places that you might be excelling in or are you vulnerable?
    SWOT ANALYSIS TEMPLATE for Strategic Planning

    External Assessment:

    In order to compete with any other businesses, you need to know what your up against. You may know your local competition and that is a GREAT start, but if you are on the internet you need to think bigger.


    Here are a couple of tips that will help you! Don't glaze over!

    Industry Trends

    • Write down the new products that your seeing in your industry, the new services or experiences you are hearing about at competitors or in other cities. Do a quick google search on your products and see what pops up.

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      Competitive Environment

      Write down your direct competitors and write down how they are winning…

      MOST IMPORTANT: Write out their weaknesses or what your competitive advantage is over them….what do you do better?

      Society Trends & Economic Environment

      Are you trading with other countries?

      What is going on in those countries?

      What about diversity, environmentalism or social responsibility, would any of these or other trends lend well to your biz? (always relate this back to your audience…but you get the idea).

      Technical Environment

      What new technologies are popping up that would make your company more efficient? I.e.) would a new Point of Sale (POS) system save your time and money this year?

      What about a Email service providers (ESP) are you getting the best deal and is it good for your customers?

      Be aware of your current systems and what upgrades would make you more efficient.

      Legal and Political Environment

      - Is it an election year? If so, what impacts do you see? What new laws do you need ot be conscious of?

      How to Get There

      “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

      Sun Tzu

      Once you have identified the vision for your biz, you are able to break those goals down by working backwards.

      Steps to Retroactively Planning Your Goals Out.

      1. Pick a goal
      2. Know your Starting Point: Look clearly at your where you are starting from and where you want to end, identify the gap in between.
      3. Create Timeline: Know your timeline to achieve this goal.
      4. Create Milestones: The gap in-between will be bridged through creating milestones (Milestones: smaller goals that will help you get to your larger goal)
        • Identify the milestones over time in increments (sometimes people like to have events as their milestones, where others may just want a number to achieve on a monthly basis.
          • Events Example 1: If you are launching a new product your milestones may be (solidify vendor, identify product and its specs, receive and approve sample, production, packaging, delivery, marketing, floor set)
          • Number Example 2: If you are creating a sales goal for the year your milestones may be (solidify the amount you will make each month based on last year’s sales and account for a 10% increase)
      5. Identify Tactics: Break each milestone down into the tactics to get to each milestone.
        • Example 1: when solidifying the vendor, you may need to meet with multiple vendors, that said you will need to set up multiple appointments over a period of time to get the best price.
        • Example 2: for each sales goal by month you may break these down by monthly marketing promotions and how each should perform monthly, you may decide to mitigate based on product sales etc.
      6. Daily / Weekly calendar Planning: After you have broken out all your tactics is now is up to you to plan your day accordingly to ladder up to these activities. Just as an agency or an accountant charges by the hour, you should be planning your time as such.

      One of the most important pieces in business is to understand what your time ladders up to.

      The example below works to show all of these activities in a timeline view. The primary goal is to increase their email list to 10K subscribers.

      In this example they are planning one big activity each quarter to get there, however there may be monthly activities or those that are event based.

      Strategic Planning Timeline Example

      How to Plan Your Day

      So, now what?

      You need to have a greater goal than just your sales today.

      Strategic planning is typically thought of as something that is done once a year or reviewed quarterly, but I challenge you to think differently.

      I challenge you to consider each moment in your day as an opportunity to be involved in the process of strategic planning.

      Here is how to create massive growth:

      Perform the retroactive activities listed above, then begin to integrate into your schedule for the year.

      Figure out what to do and what to stop doing…

      You only have a finite amount of time and there are other things going on in your life. You need to determine how much time to spend on regular business activities and your key business initiatives.

      Think about it this way. Each day that you work serves a goal for the month, each month serves a goal for the year, each year serves a goal that meets a 3-5-year plan ideally. Each day we need to manage our time in a way that ladders up to the bigger picture.

      Build your schedule around your ideal flow of your day.

      For example, in order to ensure that you are able to fit in your strategic initiatives, schedule those key priorities from 9-12, Email after 12 and then 1-5 laser focus on other business activities. When you have the laser focus really amazing things will happen, but you have to use your time management techniques.

      How can you create 5 more hours in your schedule? What are the things you can do to get your time back without killing yourself...need help? Click here!

      Get your FREE Strategy Workbook to bring your biz to a new level this year!

      Enter your email to download your FREE workbook along with all the actionable tips to grow a profitable business!

        We won't send you spam. We're a no B.S. brand! Unsubscribe at any time.

        Whats Going to Get in Your Way?

        1. Getting overwhelmed and not finishing this process of creating your plan
        2. Not scheduling these activities and goals in your calendar
        3. Getting discouraged if you are not meeting your goals and giving up too early.
        4. External conflicts
        5. Family and Friend commitments and obligations
        6. Lack of Communication with Staff and /or independent contractors
        7. Lack of momentum
        8. Weaknesses in your business that you have not addressed
        9. Time management and lack of prioritization
        10. Not checking in regularity on progress.

        Final Thoughts

        Strategic Planning should be an ongoing activity.

        If you take away, account for your time each day and laddering it back to an activity that gets you closer to your goals.

        Ask yourself:

        "What choices am I making each day?

        "What is it going to take to get me to being number one or to get to the next step."

        "Will this move me closer to my steps / outcomes."

        Strategic Planning takes time, but it certainly is not rocket science. If you want an expert to help guide you through your process and some I would love to chat! Click below to schedule your 30 Minute free consult!

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