STRATEGIC PLANNING

A proven approach to scale up your business.

Most business plans are high on theory and optimism, but low on strategy, and even weaker on execution.

The Scaling Up performance system is different.

Contact us for more information on booking your strategic planning retreat

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Strategic Planning Success Story


“Every aspect of the business has improved with Karie’s guidance, and now our focus is coaching our management team through strategic planning sessions. This has paid massive dividends as we now have a management team that is involved in helping shape the future of the company on top of managing the day-to-day. The business has turned around (annual revenue has doubled and net profit is above industry average) which means we have happy customers, engaged A-Team employees and capital to grow.”

Todd Cuffaro, CEO, Miller CNC

3 Things you Should Know about the Scaling Up Strategic Plan

01

A strategic plan is a living document that evolves.

Done properly, it typically takes 2-3 years to create an effective plan to scale a successful business sustainably. Think of it like a crossword puzzle, where you start by filling in what you know, and use those data points to try to figure out the more difficult answers.

If your goal is to fill out a strategic plan template, you’re missing the point.

This is a highly iterative process of discovery, focus, gathering collective intelligence from the team, customer feedback, SWOT analysis, measuring the results, and course-correcting as you go.

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02

The Strategic Planning Process Addresses Key Decisions

“If you want to get everyone in the company on the same page, then you need to literally get everything on one page.”

Verne Harnish

Our trademarked Scaling Up One-Page Strategic Plan simplifies: who is doing what, by when, and how will we measure it?

Over a series of one or two-day strategic planning retreats, we will work with you on The 4 Decisions Model:

  1. People Decisions: focus on getting the right people to do the right things, with clear accountabilities.
  2. Strategy Decisions: a well-crafted strategy produces consistent revenue growth, with profitability above industry averages.
  3. Cash Decisions: understand how to improve your Cash Conversion Cycle, and how fast you can afford to grow.
  4. Execution Decisions: growth can initiate chaos if processes aren’t running smoothly. Establishing a communication rhythm throughout the organization is key to keeping on pace.

These are the key decisions businesses must get right if they want to scale up without drama and complexity.

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03

It’s Part Strategic Thinking, Part Execution Planning

When most businesses attempt to plan, what they think is strategy is actually short-term objectives and tactics. When you allow adequate time for strategic thinking before you begin execution planning, the result is a more focused and purposeful plan that engages people at all levels of the organization, giving you a massive competitive advantage.

First, Strategic Thinking

Strategic thinking is long-term–looking a minimum of 3 years out, and often as far as 10-25 years out.

These questions are a critical part of the strategic plan process, no matter the type of business or its size.

Then, Execution Planning

In contrast, execution planning breaks down out the “how.”

First, we map out the priorities for the next 12 months that will put you on track for the bigger-picture goals. Next, we break it down into quarterly sprints–making your goals concrete by assigning accountability and measurable milestones.

Get clear on who is doing what by when, so individual priorities are clearly connected to the company plan.

Is your business healthy enough to scale up?

FAQs

What is Business Strategic Planning?

Strategic planning is an intentional approach to making decisions and actions that will help you establish and achieve your business goals over the long-term. Having a strategic plan helps businesses stay on track, while giving you the opportunity to course-correct as needed, in order to adapt to the ever-changing business environment. When done effectively, strategic planning is key in helping make decisions about what goals the business should pursue, why, and how. The process allows for an evaluation of current resources, capabilities, strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats, in a way that can enables long-term business growth and scalability.

What is The Importance of Strategic Planning?

As a business grows, adding more employees and more customers can result in chaos and complexity. It can feel a bit like riding a skateboard downhill–the speed wobble can be exhilarating, but if you lose control, it can be hazardous. That’s why every successful business needs a roadmap that outlines where you’re going and how to get there.

Most leaders try to do too much, and end up overwhelmed and ccomplishing less. So, the benefits of the strategic planning process itself are valuable in helping businesses focus on the right outcomes, stay organized, keep everyone in the organization aligned, and provide a roadmap for future growth.

What are the Key Elements of Strategic Planning?

When it comes to strategic planning, there are several key elements that must be taken into consideration. The first is establishing the core purpose for your company. Some might refer to this as a vision or mission statement, but thinking of it like a “core purpose” helps you to narrow it down to a simple, concrete and meaningful statement. Avoid flowery language that sounds like it was written in a university class. You want this to be a simple statement that your entire company believes in, and engages them to give their best efforts every day. The second element is determining your targets and objectives, and developing strategies for achieving them.

This includes creating measurable goals, setting timelines for when those goals should be achieved, and devising a plan of action. The third element is monitoring progress. This includes tracking metrics such as revenue, margins, life time value of a customer, reviewing feedback, and assessing the effectiveness of your strategies. This is crucial for accountability, and ensuring each member of the team is executing according to the plan. The fourth key element is resource management. This includes budgeting, staffing, and other activities related to managing available resources to ensure that all objectives can be achieved.

Finally, the fifth key element of strategic planning is review and adjustment. It is not enough to “set it and forget it” when it comes to your strategic plan. Every 90-days you should take time to learn from what is going well, what’s not going well, and take the time to adjust your plan and recalibrate.

What are the Scaling Up 4 Decisions?

The Four Decisions are around People, Strategy, Execution and Cash.

  1. People Decisions
    • Key question: are all employees happy and engaged, and would you enthusiastically re-hire all of them?
      • If you don’t get the “people stuff” right, the rest of the strategic plan is irrelevant. On the contrary, a team in full alignment and clarity of purpose cannot be stopped. With a focus on getting the right people to do the right things, with clear accountabilities, we will empower your team to grow faster and stronger.
  2. Strategy Decisions
    • Key question: does your firm have a simple strategy & is it driving sustainable growth?
      • A well-crafted strategy produces consistent revenue growth, with gross margins above industry averages. Your strategy addresses decisions around your core purpose,brand promises, differentiating factors, and economic drivers. A clear strategy harnesses energy and reduces chaos–emphasizing productivity over busyness.
  3. Execution Decisions
    • Key question: Are all processes running without drama and driving industry-leading profitability?
      • Without a focus on execution the value of the Strategic Plan cannot be realized. It’s often said that more businesses die of indigestion than starvation… Meaning that growth can initiate chaos, of processes aren’t running smoothly. Establishing clear targets, actionable steps and a communication rhythm through out the organization is key to keeping on pace.
  4. Cash Decisions
    • Key question: Do you have consistent sources of cash, ideally generated internally, to fuel the growth of your business?
      • Growth sucks cash. This is the first law of entrepreneurial gravity. It’s imperative that high growth organizations understand your Cash Conversion Cycle, and have strategies in place to improve it, in order to continue to fund growth.