If you’re heading into 2017 thinking about setting new plans and goals for your business, Modern da Vinci is here to help. In this brief video, we cover:
- three big planning mistakes that you must avoid, and
- the first step you should take to set the foundation for your planning process.
This is the first video, article (below), and podcast in a series where we will lay out a specific approach for creating a simple, clear, and impactful plan to help you set (and reach) your goals in 2017. And beyond.
Three Big Planning Mistakes that Waste Time and Cause Frustration
1. Seeking Planning Perfection
You want everything in your plan to be just right, and you can spend a lot of time wordsmithing a mission statement and shuffling goals around. Here’s the problem - there is no such thing as a perfect plan.
Business owners seeking a perfect strategy get caught in endless revisions and procrastinate. They become frustrated with the planning process.
You need to feel confident in your plan, but it’s never going to be perfect, and it doesn’t need to be. Remember, the plan itself is not as important as the conversations and agreement fostered in the planning process.
2. Creating a “Marketing” Document
If you are writing your strategic plan to impress people outside of your business, you’re asking for trouble. Your plan can look and sound good but won’t be of much help to you if it is lacking in substance or glosses over critical weaknesses that need to be addressed. The plan is for you and others in your organization, so make sure you are focusing on the right audience.
3. Planning for the “Long Term”
This is too long of a time horizon for a small business to tackle. You don’t have enough information to look that far into the future. Things are going to change, and you will need to make frequent adjustments. A six-month to one-year period is more realistic and manageable for a small business.
Fostering Business Clarity and Consensus
Purpose is critical because it serves as a foundation from which you will align your team, solutions, and marketing. It fosters clarity and consensus on why the business exists.
How do you develop a purpose statement? Here are some guidelines:
- Purpose should be completely idealistic. At some level, all organizations exist to make people’s lives better, even if it's only in small, subtle ways.
- Purpose must be honest. It should be based on the real motivations of the business’s leaders, not something that sounds good on paper.
- Start by asking the question, “How do we contribute to a better world?” Although this question may seem “soft” to some business owners, it is essential to ask as the beginning of the clarity process.
- Once you have your initial answer to this question, drill deeper by asking “why?” Continue asking “why?” until you and your team have identified the most idealistic reason for the business.
Here is an example from us at Modern da Vinci:
“Small businesses are the backbone of our nation. We exist to help small business owners grow with purpose and speed.”
Don’t feel like you have to come up with a purpose statement on your own. Pull together your best thinkers and brainstorm several versions using the guidelines above. Narrow it down to the one that is the most authentic. Again, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should be honest and true.
Once you’ve established your purpose statement, the rest of the planning process will be easy!
Join our newsletter above and check back next week for the next video and post in this series. It will describe how to quickly assess your business as a method to generate meaningful goals and priorities.
About the Author
CO-FOUNDER | LEADERSHIP, BUSINESS STRATEGY, MANAGEMENT, COACH, TRAINER, AND FACILITATOR
Seth Sinclair is a leadership coach, management consultant, trainer, and facilitator with a passion for helping his clients achieve their personal and professional goals. Reach out by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org or learn more on our About page.