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The 5 Benefits of Strategic Planning For Your Business


The term strategic planning is frequently used in business, but you might find yourself asking, “what is strategic planning?”

Implementing strategic planning sets a business up for success.  If you analyze the name, strategic planning is simple. It’s a process of planning the actions you take in your business strategically instead of making decisions on a whim or duplicating the efforts of other successful companies.  However, there’s a bit more to strategic planning than meets the eye.

The 3 Steps of Strategic Planning

According to, strategic planning is “a systematic process of envisioning a desired future, and translating this vision into broadly defined goals or objectives and a sequence of steps to achieve them.”

To develop a full understanding of what the strategic planning process is, let us discuss the three steps further.

Step 1: Envision Your Future

As a business, you must have an idea of how your business will look in the future.  How will your business operate six months, one year, or five years down the road? What will your business structure be?  How many employees will you have? What will your profit be each year? Without the ability to conceptualize a future for your business creating a strategic plan is unattainable.

Step 2: Set Goals

Once you have a vision for the future, it’s time to make specific goals to help that vision come to fruition.  The best way to set goals is to make sure they’re SMART. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

An example of a SMART goal is, I will increase my consulting clients by 25% within the next 12 months.

It is specific and measurable because I can determine if my clients increased by 25% within 12 months by analyzing my metrics.

It is attainable because I set a reasonable goal.  

It is relevant because the goal relates to my business.

It is timely because a realistic time frame is included.  

Step 3: Develop a Sequence of Steps to Achieve Your Goal

Once you have your vision and your SMART goal, it’s time to develop a strategy to reach your objective. This is done by creating a step by step action plan.

Using the SMART goal I developed in step 2, if my goal is to increase the number of consulting clients I sign by 25% within 12 months I must

  • Determine how many clients I need
  • Hire a social media manager
  • Attend two in-person networking events per month
  • Speak to my current clients about referring others to my practice
  • Update my lead magnet, so those visiting my website are added to my email list

Creating specific action steps takes your vision from an idea to a goal to reality.

5 Benefits of Strategic Planning

Completing the three-step process of strategic planning leads to numerous advantages in your business.  Below you will find five significant benefits of implementing strategic planning.

1. Increases Longevity

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Business Employment Dynamics, 20% of small businesses fail in their first year, 50% fail by their fifth year, and only 30% of companies make it to their 10th anniversary.

Having a strategic planning process in place increases the likelihood that you are making decisions that will lead to the long-term success of your business.  Your vision, goals, and plan of action are all surrounding the ultimate goal of your company advancing, therefore increasing longevity.

2. Provides a Sense of Direction

When you have a specific vision with SMART goals and an outlined plan, there should never be a question of where your business is heading.  Having a sense of direction will guide all of the decisions you make in your business. You will be able to effectively steer yourself and your employees as you make day to day decisions, increase efficiency and proactively work towards your goal.  

3. Makes You Unique

Many businesses are suffering from copycat syndrome.  They see other seemingly successful companies and copy their techniques without determining whether they best suit their business model. This leads to look alike companies being created.  

However, when you develop a strategic plan for your business that’s unique to your vision and your goals, you are free to develop specific steps that work for you and you alone.  You are free to show your marketing genius and creative ideas to reach your optimal level of success. Straying from the pact will set you apart from your competitors and provide you with a unique selling proposition.

4. Evaluates Progress

In developing your strategic plan, you are developing measurable SMART goals.  Because the goal is measurable, you can track your progress quickly and determine whether you are moving toward that ultimate vision.  Evaluating progress helps you to identify strengths and weaknesses in your business, strategy, and employees. Recognizing your strengths and weaknesses helps you to make decisions regarding additional supports you might need to bring on board or strengths you should utilize more as you work to reach your goal.

5. Sets Priorities

As a business owner, you are frequently inundated with tasks.  The goal is to focus on the most critical tasks first. Having a strategic plan will help you to identify the tasks that are most important and likely to move you toward your ultimate vision.  Those priorities are where the majority of your time, energy, and effort should be spent. When you lack priorities and view everything on your to-do list with the same urgency, you are failing to optimize your time effectively.

Strategic planning is more than just creating a plan for your business. It can be the difference between reaching your 10th anniversary, or not making it past year 5.  With a world full of competition in every arena, it’s important to set your business apart and prepare your business for success. Implementing strategic planning helps you to reach your goals the SMART way.

When developing your strategic plan, employee engagement and support is a non-negotiable. If you’re searching for a roadmap to increase employee engagement, download a free copy of my book, 5 Tips to Improve Employee Engagement here.  It’s packed with strategies you can implement to ensure you and your employees are on the same path to business success.

Say It Out Loud

“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will” – Suzy Kassem

A couple of days ago I wrote about living a life of fear disguised as practicality. I realized that I had been allowing fear to keep me from doing what I really wanted to do in life.

There is a school of thought that says to keep your dreams/plans to yourself and just let you results speak for themselves. This theory lends itself to the fact that the “dream stealers” will try and talk you out of what you want or that the naysayers will disparage you to the point of giving up all together. I have allowed this theory to keep me stuck. I kept my goals to myself out of fear. It also allowed me to “save face” if I didn’t achieve them.

I now prefer to subscribe to the theory that sharing my goals by stating them out loud allows those who support me to come flooding into my life. Proclaiming that which I desire brings it into my reality. I believe that words have power. I also believe that what you speak about you become. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have fear or doubt from time to time. To the contrary, I believe that pushing past the fear is critical to achieving my stated goals. I have talked myself out of doing what I want more times than I care to admit. I’ve learned that the achievement of the goal isn’t the only prize. The bigger prize is who I become along the way.

I want to return to this girl. This was me 5 years ago, focused on my health and wellness. Missing a workout was out of the question. I have allowed myself to slip into a thick soup of excuses anchored in fear. It’s time to cast off the chains that bind and claim my victory.

I will be in the best shape of my life for my 46th birthday on July 30, 2018.

What has fear been keeping you from achieving?

There Is No Right Or Wrong

We all approach things from our own unique point of view. We each have our own perspective based on the experiences we bring with us to a given situation. There is no time of year when this is more evident that during election season. Two people can view the same image; hear the same speech, read the same information yet come away with 2 totally different perspectives. We have preconceived notions about what something represents. Within that context, we formulate an opinion. Where things get sticky is that we attempt to push that opinion as fact.

How much times have you wasted trying to prove someone else wrong? Trying to convince someone that your perspective is the only way. Attempting to convince them that you are right and they are wrong is a complete wasted effort.

“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still” – Benjamin Franklin 

What is even sadder to me is that we attack others for maintaining a different opinion. We expend copious amounts of energy trying to prove them wrong. In those futile attempts, we throw reason out the window. We will quote any source, regardless of how unreliable, as “evidence” to support our opinion. I’ve witnessed the vilest comments. I’ve seen friendships ended and relationships ruined all in an attempt to be RIGHT. I ask you this: Was it worth it? Did you really “win” by denigrating your friend? You obviously couldn’t convince them of your rightness or their wrongness. To what end is all of this angst?

What I appreciate about living in this country is our right to have a difference of opinion and to do so publicly without recourse. Well, without recourse from the government anyway.

When you look at the wolf and the bird picture: What do you see? I see focus, determination, grit, perseverance, tunnel vision, risk taking, risk avoidance, nature, and calm.

What would your ideal day look like?

I’ve often been guilty of doing what “I have to do” versus what I want to do. When this question was posed to me of “what would your ideal day look like”, frankly I was stumped. It had been so long since I took the time to think about what an ideal day would look like. I had to ask myself, what does that even really mean? What is “ideal” anyway? I had to sit with this for a couple of days and really take an inventory of my current day-to-day activities.

Recently, there was a video on Facebook showing a lady walking in the airport on one of those people movers. Thing is, she was walking the wrong way on the mover. So, she was walking but not getting anywhere, she just kept walking without even realizing her situation. This is a great depiction of how I felt when the question of an ideal day was posed to me. I’ve been doing what I do for so long on autopilot that I hadn’t realized I wasn’t really getting anywhere. It was like my life was on wash, rinse, and repeat. That horrified me for a moment. My personality does lend itself to security in the known. I do like a routine, predictability, and comfort. However, I had become so comfortable that I was just basically living the same day over and over and calling it a life. I’m not saying my life is bad in any way, just overly predictable. Which, if I am being honest, is not how I want it to be.

My ideal day would include:

  • Waking up naturally and getting my workout in first thing
  • Taking my daughter to school and picking her up
  • Writing, speaking, and consulting with and for my clients
  • Enjoying family time in the evening
  • Traveling at will

What would yours look like? Have you thought about it? Share with us in the comments below.

Video: Sister Accord Tea Party in Miami

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#TBT to the Sister Accord Tea Party in Miami! I’m so grateful to Sonia Jackson Myles for acting on her dreams so that we could come together in one accord and lift each other up! #Sistetaccordteaparty

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