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STRATEGIC PLANNING – the key to achieving your goals

Strategic (adjective) as identified by the Oxford dictionary is defined as – Relating to the identification of long-term or overall aims and interests and the means of achieving them.

Putting time and thought into how we go about achieving both business and personal goals is equally important. Yet this is not something very many of us tend to do, at least not consciously. For the most part, we often don’t think of our personal lives in terms of strategic planning. Yet strategy really does play a huge part in each of our lives.

Achieving Outcomes

If you want to achieve an outcome then you need to have a very measured approach. A pathway usually consists of a series of stepping stones that take you forward towards your goals. Without a pathway life tends to just wander along in a leisurely (or perhaps chaotic) fashion. There is no firm direction. There is no strategy. Without strategic direction, there is less chance of achievement and satisfaction.

Strategic planning is all about aiming for what is right for YOU and for your business. You are unique and your plans will be different to mine – but there is a commonality to all plans.

Elements of a Strategic Plan

The elements that go into building a strategic plan are the same for every business. If you are a small business you may not be able to afford the luxury of an experienced facilitator to help guide and navigate you through the elements of creating a strategic plan that is just right for your business/organisation.

This is the number one reason so many small businesses struggle. Without a clear map of where you are going and how you are going to get there it can be an enormous struggle.

The problem is usually not lack of ideas, but a lack of focus. Too much swirling around in your head and too busy working in the day to day tasks means there’s no time to concentrate. Working on your businesses is as important, if not more so, than working in your business.

This is where a strategic plan is so valuable. It’s what all big businesses use to guide their success.

Strategic Plan vs Business Plan

Confusion often exists between a Strategic Plan and a Business Plan and it is important to understand the difference.

A Business Plan lays out the finer details of HOW you will achieve what is on your Strategic Plan. It is a much more detailed document and often involves step by step processes.

A Strategic Plan is broader, think of it as a guiding star, and the Business plan as the stepping stones that are going to help you reach that star.

Since moving to Bribie Island in May 2018, I have provided pro-bono support to Hairdressers with Hearts. Through facilitating strategic planning the organisation has become a not for profit company and registered charity going from strength to strength. This is testament to the value of Strategic Planning.

In 2019, I will be offering Strategic Planning group workshops specially designed for small businesses and not-for-profits to help you develop your plans and reach your stated mission.

At the workshops you will be guided to explore and examine where you want to be and what might be holding you back. You’ll receive the tools to create a Strategic Plan to take you where you want to go.

Keen to learn more? Get in touch for more details and make 2019 the year you take control.

Until next issue….

Michelle Hanton 898082

Michelle Hanton OAM is a multi-award winning international business strategist, the founder of Dragons Abreast Australia and former CEO of Lifeline Top End. Her business, Dragon Sisters, specialises in actionable, momentum building support to help move businesses to the next level.

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