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5 Pains Strategic Planning Can Help Cure

Strategic Planning

We all have goals and certain things we’d like to achieve in our business and life. We all face obstacles and challenges as we try to accomplish these goals. What’s preventing you and your team from achieving your business goals? What pains are you experiencing in your business right now? What keeps you awake at night?

Below are 5 pains shared by leaders of both small business and large organizations, and how strategic planning can cure them.

Tensions and Disagreements

If you don’t know what you want to achieve, how you’re going to do it and, most importantly, why you want to, then your situation is fertile grounds for tension, conflict and disagreement. This tension can be between partners and team members, or internal, if you’re a solo entrepreneur. What will happen to your business if disagreements and conflicts are not resolved?

It’s critical to identify and define specifics for the what, how and why. This helps you better understand objectives, goals and roles and helps you develop clarity of direction.

Too much to do

There are many things to do but the key is to focus on the right things. Think about a typical week and assess how you and your key contributors are spending time. How much focus is on revenue generating activities, goal related actions, and growth initiatives?

With business goals, objectives, and roles clearly defined, you and your key contributors are better able to stay accountable and committed to focusing on the right things. It also becomes easier to make decisions about delegating.

Lacking energy and motivation

Some days our excitement and energy levels are high and other days it’s tough to get out of bed in the morning. Again, it’s important to focus on what you want to achieve, and why you want to achieve that. Think both short and long term and ask yourself these questions. After achieving your goals:

  • What will that allow you to do in and outside your business?
  • How will that make you feel?
  • What will others say about you and your business?
  • What do you want others to say about you and your business?

Lacking Resources, skills and knowledge

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the thought of “what you don’t have.” Strategic Planning helps you identify what resources, skills and knowledge are most needed to achieve business goals.

Feeling unsuccessful

Having clearly defined objectives and goals provides you and your team the opportunity to track and measure your achievements. It’s important to acknowledge and recognize your successes!

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How to Recommit to Your Abandoned Goals

Abandoned Goals

It’s also a good time to think about and assess the goals you have not achieved. Ask yourself, “are any of my goals indeed important but still receiving little to none of my attention and focus?” These are your abandoned goals.

The questions is, what’s leading you to NOT focus and spend time on goals you acknowledge are important? Here are some insights to consider:

Lack of specifics

Sometimes our goals are too general. Being specific allows you to narrow your focus, better understand what needs to be done, and turn big ideas into manageable steps. For example, wanting to improve the finances of your organization is an idea. “I’m going to spend an hour each week analyzing my company’s cash flow reports” is a specific goal, which leads to more effective management of your financial resources.

Click here if your business could benefit from better cash flow focused planning.

Forgetting the rewards and consequences

Usually, we set goals because of the anticipated benefits of achieving them or the potential consequences of failing to do so. Often, these rewards and consequences are down the road and it’s easy to lose sight of them when there are more immediate items competing for your attention. Don’t allow this to happen. Rewards and consequences are the fuel to keep you motivated and energized.

Doubt

Challenging goals stretch us to the limits of what we think we can achieve and often cause us to question our skills, abilities and resources.  Because of this, it’s easy to convince ourselves that something is unachievable. We focus on all the reasons something can’t be done instead of thinking positively and reminding ourselves why the goal is important, and how we can accomplish it! Again, don’t fall into the trap of doubt and pessimism.

Develop a short, positive, action-oriented statement that reinforces why you will achieve your goal. For example, this one always works for me. “When I put in the time, the job gets done.”

The road to success is not an easy journey. It involves focusing on the right goals, staying committed to your goals, and overcoming the obstacles along the way.

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