I’m going to teach you the four steps of the strategic planning process that I use,
This podcast is really like a graduate school in business. I was going to go back to college. I actually went to graduate school, but I was going to go back to UVA, the Darden school, and get an MBA. I met one of the professors for lunch, his son and my son played soccer together, and I shared with him that I wanted to go back for an MBA. He goes, “Sean, you’d lose your mind. Because you’ve already done it, you’ve already started countless companies and you have a few very successful companies. You just need to kinda pick and choose what you want to learn at this point, but 80% of what we would teach, ou would beat your head against the desk because you already do it, and you already understand how to do it.
So that’s what this podcast is about.
My son is not going to college, and yeah, I can effortlessly afford to send him, but I teach him all these things. I mentor him and his business partner. They’re both about the same age, just graduated high school, and it’s kind of exciting. I love teaching the different things you need to know to be successful in business, and this is one of them. You need to understand how to strategically plan things. I’m going to talk you through the whole process.
This is a skill. This is at the top of the game. This is what really good business owners do. Top-level managers do this, great leaders had the skill to do this, so let me take you through the four steps to successfully learn how to strategically plan.
Identify the Problem, the Initiative and/or the Goal that You’re Trying to Solve
What are we planning for? What is the purpose?
Well, within my companies, we put together a strategic plan because we have identified a problem in crisis or we’ve identified an initiative that we need to take because it would be great for our business. Or we have a goal that we’re trying to achieve. Normally it’s, you’re trying to solve a problem, start an initiative, maybe it’s something new within your company, a new division, a new profit string, or a goal. Maybe it’s massively increasing profit or to increase customer acquisitions or increase your sales conversion rate. Whatever it is, identify why you’re doing it. It’s hard to have a plan in place if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve.
Create a Strategy with Deadlines on How this is Going to Get Done
So you’ve identified this what we’re trying to accomplish. How are you going to do it? What’s the strategy with deadlines? Strategy without deadlines is just a wishful list.
I typically break our year up in quarters. I have major initiatives for each quarter and then one key, measurable, objective for that month to see if we’re moving in the right direction.
Take Action Within these Deadlines to Assess if We’re Making Progress
We want to assess if we’re making progress towards what we’re trying to achieve. We identified the problem, the initiative, the goal we’re trying to set, we create this strategy and within the strategy, we have deadlines. We start taking action within the strategy, what we’re going to do, and we compare how we’re achieving them based on these deadlines we’ve set for three months. If we’re not making any progress 3 months in, 6 months in, then we’ve gotta look at this.
If Progress is Not Being Made, Change the Team, the Player Working on it, or the Strategy
And that’s the secret. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. The secret to strategic planning is, you have to adapt.
You gotta change it. Remember when the Patriots were down 28-3 in the Super Bowl? They changed their plan. The problem is the Atlanta Falcons changed their plan too. You never change a plan that’s working. The Falcons got conservative and stopped doing what they were doing, they were actual. Could you imagine being up 28-3 and then losing the Super Bowl. That’s the example of something was failing for the Patriots. They made the necessary change.
I just gave you a master’s class on strategic planning and the process to do it very effectively. Write this one down. This will help you.