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SmallBizChat Recap on Developing a Simple Strategic Plan for your Small Business

SmallBizChat Recap on Developing a Simple Strategic Plan for your Small Business

Each Wednesday, a weekly Twitter Chat (#SmallBizChat) takes place where emerging small business owners can get answers to their questions is hosted by @SmallBizLady and guest of the week. The topic for last night was Developing a Simple Strategic Plan with guest @lauraposey and co-host @TaiGoodwin.

What is a Twitter Chat? It's a group of people discussing a topic that is designated by a hashtag and anyone that has this in their tweet, is included in the conversation. Anyone can search for this topic and see the tweets that contained it.

A Twitter Chat is very rapid as it's constantly updating, but you can join in on the discussion using TweetChat by placing the hashtag topic in the search field. You'll be able to see real-time updates and post to the conversation without having to insert the hashtag manually.

Similar to the recap of #SMBHolidayPrep, I've pulled out some questions and favorite answers so you can digest and use the tips immediately.

Q: Everything changes so fast today. why is planning so critical to business success?

Laura's tweets:
A strategic plan is a blueprint for building your dream business.
A strategic plan eliminates the time/ money you waste on the wrong decisions

@MillionaireBy31 - failing to plan is the same as planning to fail

Q: Why do small businesses need a strategic plan?

Laura's tweets:
A strategic plan will guide you and focus your energies and efforts like nothing else.
Having a strategic plan for your career will help you end up at the top of the ladder or self-employed.
Non-profits with plans find it much easier to raise funds when your donors can see the strategy. 

@TheRealSharon - The difference between TRY and TRIUMPH is a little UMPH -- and proper strategic planning!

@ashleyschoenith - you must have a greater goal in mind & know where you are headed or you'll never get there

@balconik - It's set a general 'plan of attack' for the company to stay consistent with and refer back to.

@PictureHeather - A strategic plan provides goals and principles for all corporate decisions, it's like making a map without the scale

Q: What are the absolute must-have parts of a strategic plan?

Laura's tweets:
The 2 biggest keys are writing down your values and beliefs + having a good vision.
In a well-defined business culture, everyone knows what to expect from everyone else.

@CliftonW21 - Your business objectives & keep your eyes on your reason for being in business. 

Strategy Plan - Your Business Blueprint

Q: Why is vision so important to a strategic plan?

Laura's tweets:
Without a vision a business will flounder and waste time and money in the wrong places.
2 key questions:  Is this in alignment with our values and will it move us closer to our vision?

@SmallBizLady - Without vision your business will perish. You must be able to communicate your vision to employees, customerss & investors

@balconik -  It's your business purpose! If you have no purpose in mind, then what's the point in your execution?

Q: What else should be in a strategic plan?

Laura's tweets:
A strategic plan reverse engineers a vision. It details how to make the vision happen.
It includes 5 yr goals, 1 yr goals, metrics and an annual theme. 
For the next year, decide on no more than 5 key areas of focus in your biz eg, marketing, technology, staffing etc 

@PictureHeather - A strong strategic plan must build on a detailed Enviro Analysis & SWOT. Without it any strategy will be fuzzy

Q: How do I implement a strategic plan?

Laura's tweets:
Implementation is easy when you have a clear vision and good one-year goals.
Break the one-year goals into quarterly initiatives and then break those into weekly tasks.

Q: How does a strategic plan fit in with other plans like marketing or sales?

Laura's tweets:
A good strategic plan is the foundation for other plans like marketing, sales, social media, etc.
All other plans are an extension of your strategic plan.

Q: What are the biggest problems you see people making with strategic planning?

Laura's tweets:
Winging it almost always ends in failure. Time spent planning saves $$$ and hours down the road.
Use the plans you create. A blueprint won't build a house. You have to swing the hammer. 

@PictureHeather -  The biggest and most common mistake is creating strategic objectives and goals that are immeasurable.

Did you read any tips that can apply to your business? If you'd like to join in, next Wednesday's Twitter Chat topic will be "How to Get Through the Holidays and Fire Up Your Business for 2013" with @alizasherma


+Alice Ly
Social Media Manager
Lucrazon Ecommerce

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