What is Strategic Planning?

Jan 18, 2023

This is an add-on to our discussion last week, How Can I Setup My Business for Success in 2023?

If you haven't checked that out yet, do so now. We discussed:

  • Take Bookkeeping Seriously: Update it regularly, no commingling, and keep your receipts/documentation
  • Start Tax Planning Now: Learn, research, and most importantly implement!

The final piece to this discussion is strategic planning which is exactly what we are discussing today.

What Is Strategic Planning?

In a very simple form, strategic planning is a business defining its strategy or direction and then making decisions or plans on how it can get there. Big corporate structures have whole departments that focus on this and spend millions of dollars each and every year doing strategic planning.

That is not what we want to talk about today. We want to talk about what this means for everyday small business owners like you. I like to break this down into a couple simple practices:

  • Determine Your Perfect Scenario
  • Determine Your 5 Year Plan
  • Determine Your 3 Year Plan
  • Determine Your 2023 Plan

Lets dive through each of them!

What Is Perfect Scenario Planning?

This is the fun part. I want you to step away from your business for a half a day. Find a location or setting you enjoy and are at peace and remove all the noise from your life and just think. We are looking to see what your perfect scenario would be in the future.

Some probing questions to get you thinking about your "perfect scenario":

  • What does your life look like?
  • What do you do with your time?
  • What do you own (houses, vehicles, businesses, etc)?
  • How much money do you have in investments, savings, retirement funds, etc?
  • What is your annual income?

Write all this stuff down and start to articulate what a perfect scenario would be like for you in 10 or 15 years. Just to get your gears moving, here are some examples:

  • Personal Residence Fully Paid Off
  • Vacation Home in Florida
  • Work 2-3 Days per Week
  • Hike or Golf Everyday
  • Own a Lamborghini
  • Business Profit: $1MM
  • Investment and/or Savings: $5MM+

Everyone's strategic plan and goals will look completely different but wanted to provide a couple practical examples to serve as a launchpad to get started!

Next we are going to go through a few practices to start building out on that plan and how we get there.

What Is a 3 or 5 Year Plan?

This is simply a list of action items and goals you need to complete in the next 3 or 5 years to make progress on your perfect scenario. The shorter the time frame the more specific you want to be. The ultimate goal here is to build out a roadmap that will take you to your perfect scenario.

Keep in mind that life is constantly changing and so will your 3 or 5 year plans. This does not need to be perfect and you will be monitoring and adjusting this as you go along.

Again, to help get your gears moving, here are some examples:

  • Refinance to a shorter mortgage
  • Hire a CEO to start taking over day-to-day
  • Expand into a new market for your business
  • Purchase a rental property
  • Acquire a competitor

What Is An Annual Strategic Plan?

Now that we have a perfect scenario and a 3 or 5 year plan we want to focus on this year. We have a roadmap to where you want to be both professional and personally in the next 3 and 5 years. An annual strategic plan is sitting down and planning out what needs to be done this year to start chipping away at those future goals.

This is going to be the most specific of your plans with specific action items. 

Again, to help get your gears moving, here are some examples:

  • Hire a social media marketing firm by March 2023
  • Grow social followers by 150 per month
  • Close 5 new sales per month
  • Hire 2 new staff members
  • Max out retirement accounts
  • Put $2,500 per month into a brokerage account
  • Hire my kids in my business, fund their Roth
  • Setup and execute bookkeeping system by 1/31 -- Last Week (hint hint)
  • Do a tax planning session in June and October -- Last Week (hint hint)

How Can I Setup My Business for Success in 2023?

As a reminder, we started this discussion last week and this is a finalization of that. Last week we discussed both bookkeeping and tax planning. To summarize the strategic planning piece:

  • Take a little bit of time and put a strategic plan together
    • Included: Perfect Scenario, 3 and 5 Year Plans, and Annual Strategic Plans
  • Check back throughout the year during your regular board meetings and see how you are progressing on your goals and plans.
  • It doesn't have to be perfect and you will constantly be revisiting and adjusting this but it will help keep you focused on your end goal instead of constantly being stuck within the business.
  • You can put as much or as little time into this as you want. The first step is to just getting started with it. 
  • Have fun with it, involve your family, and dream big!

January is a time to do a refresh for your business and get on the right track to start the year. My hope is that you take what we discussed here today and take action on it and stick to it. Get an accountability partner to ensure you are sticking with it throughout the year.


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  • Annual Bookkeeping Analysis: Annually you will submit your financials to our team of accountants and we will put together a high level business financials overview report custom to your business.
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