by M. Anthony Sacco of Stratalyne Business Solutions LLC
As an entrepreneur myself, doing all the necessary tasks required to keep growing my small business, believe me when I say, I understand why Strategic Planning seems like a luxury and ends up getting delegated to the “things I can’t afford to take the time to do while I’m trying to make money” by many entrepreneurs. But, as a management consultant who specializes in strategic planning projects for small and medium sized entrepreneurial business, I know that taking the time to collaborate on a Strategic Plan is time and money well invested. In fact, if taken seriously and done right, the return on investment is less than one year.
The reason that I feel confident making this value statement is because strategic planning when done right is the key to being prepared to succeed (Kaplan & Beinhocker) and the means to (occasionally) get out of the perspective of “doing what you do” and into the “working on what you do and why you do it” (Gerber). In other words, by stepping back, within a collaborative process, strategic planning becomes a valuable learning and discovery tool to prepare to take a business to the next level of success.
Putting it another way, planning strategically is worthwhile in its opportunity to review your business model for the current and future alignment of the key elements like vision, mission, talent, market, product, services, customers, partnerships, channels, message, organization and assets. This preparation pays off in its creation of clarity and communication that will guide strategic decision-making in response to the future as it reveals.
So, don’t get focused in your response toward the use of the word “strategic” but instead see the value in “planning” to succeed as a process of objectively prepare to identify opportunity, and learning how to work on your business.
MITSloan article “The Real Value of Strategic Planning” , S. Kaplan, S. Kaplan & E. Beinhocker (Case Study Available at HBR)