Do You Have a Strategic Plan?

“It takes just as much energy to create a failing business as it does a thriving business.”
My wife made this interesting comment the other day… It is true that the success of a business, or any endeavor for that matter, cannot be guaranteed simply on the basis of hard work. In fact, many businesses fail in spite of offering great products or services, and in spite of being run by intelligent, hard working people. Hard work is not enough.
I have been fortunate to bring on a brilliant Director of Marketing for my company (my wife) and upon joining the business, she decided we needed to go through the Guerilla Marketing 30-Day program by Jay Levinson. Quite honestly, the process was painful at times, but also immensely valuable. The exercises forced us to stop and think  strategically before jumping into action.
As service professionals, we often focus 90% of our time on sharpening our skills and refining the strategies and tools we provide our clients in order to continually increase the quality and effectiveness of our services. Spending time on strategic planning and business development can sometimes get lost.  We’d rather be with clients than create or revisit a marketing plan or a business plan.  We want to be doing something.  And we should.  But taking the time initially for some strategic planning is a crucial element of success.
Spending the initial time plotting your course, gaining clarity on where you are and what you want can be frustrating at time.  It can be an uncomfortable process, but that time is in fact well spent. It will ensure that you won’t expand your energy in random directions, working very hard and getting very little reward for all that work.  You will be working smarter rather than harder as a result.  
Whether it’s in your business or in your personal life, achieving any goal will entail expanding some energy. Simply rushing in and throwing yourself into action without first thinking strategically about how to go about achieving that goal won’t get you there.  Take a minute to gain clarity about what you actually want and which strategies will work best.  And then, jump in with passion!
To your continued success,
James
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