–Ward C. Schendel, Business Coach, KnowledgeSphere Group of AdviCoach

Our clients have found that a One Page Strategic Plan is essential to increase profitability, to create the right team to advance productivity, and to provide time back for yourself.

Recently another Duets Guest Blogger, Neil F. Anderson, Founder & President of The Courage Group, Inc., contributed a two-part series on the need for a Business Plan (Part I, and Part II).  I agree with him that a Business Plan is an important tool in building a successful business. We find in working with our clients that completing the Strategic Plan before the Business Plan can be beneficial, as the two documents serve supportive, but very different roles.

Strategic Plan vs. Business Plan:  An Analogy

Let’s look at an analogy to see the difference between these two business tools.  Running a business is analogous to going on a trip.  Many of us have used the tools AAA provides:  Maps, TourBooks®, and TripTiks®.  TripTiks® provides a specific routing, describes detours, sightseeing opportunities and restaurant and hotel information along your requested route. Business Plans are the Map and TourBook® of your business, providing extensive information about the business in the 16 sections described by Mr. Anderson.   

The Strategic Plan is the TripTik® for your business.  It provides you with a concise, step-by-step map of the keys to your business. 

Strategic Plan Defined

The Strategic Plan answers the following questions:

What is the Basis for your business? – Your Core Values

What is the Why behind your business? – Its Purpose

Where do you want your business to be 10-30 years from now?

What are you going to do to get there? – Your 1 year goals and Initiatives

How will you achieve your goals? – Action steps to take in the next quarter

Value of a Strategic Plan

Both the Business Plan and the Strategic Plan serve a vital function in moving your business forward.  The Business Plan is a necessity when you are seeking financing for your business.  The Strategic Plan charts your path on a day to day basis to drive your business forward.  As a one page document that can sit on your desk or be posted on your wall next to your desk, the One Page Strategic Plan becomes a daily planning tool.  It also serves as the basis for business coaching sessions.  These sessions provide accountability to accomplish the items you put into your Strategic Plan.

Time Commitment for Strategic Plan Creation

The One Page Strategic Plan can be put together in less than a day.  You create the guide that serves as your designated route; mapping the road to dramatically increase your profits, assemble your team and give you time back for yourself.  This doesn’t mean you won’t go back and refine it from time to time.  In fact, we recommend to our clients that their Strategic Plan be reviewed at least quarterly.  But, it does mean that in one day you can have a document that covers the fundamentals you need to move your business to the next level of success.