What is strategic planning?
Strategic planning is the process of identifying and analyzing your opportunities, weaknesses, threats and strengths in order to make strategic decisions.
I know strategic planning can be a difficult, so I have created a SWOT template that you can use to create your own strategic plan!
This can be a complicated task but there are four easy steps that will help you create a strategic plan for your business or even personal goals.
I’ve always loved the idea of writing goals down and checking them off as achievements.
This year, my approach to setting business goals was different than any other time before- it didn't involve me trying to reflect on what success would look like for myself or how I could improve upon past successes; instead, everything revolved around discovering which opportunities were best suited toward achieving big picture objectives!
When deciding between
1) maximizing current strengths
2) minimizing my known weaknesses
3 ) identifying the best opportunities, and
4) neutralizing potential threats
Business owners can hit the ground running through a SWOT Analysis!
It's as effective today as it used be 20 years ago. That's when I first learned this strategy as an undergraduate at the University of Kansas.
Awareness of these elements helps tremendously with executing your business plan - because then you know where your focus needs to be without having too many options!
Your business goals should reflect your personal and professional strengths.
Here’s how I approached setting my own business goal setting this year:
I started by choosing a word to guide my year. For me, that word is: COLLABORATION.
Working with other women building their businesses challenged and inspired me to move my business forward.
To apply this strategy for yourself, choose a word that sums up what success means for you.
Then ask and answer the following questions to clarify your vision and see yourself achieving these big goals.
Here are the questions:
- How do I see myself thriving by 2022? What will my days look like?
- What current talents or skills can I develop?
- How can I schedule times of rest strategically?
- What women do I know that would make up a list of ideal collaborators?
I set out this year to make sure my business goals were reflective of who I want to become and represent what really matter most.
I used the word "collaboration," which to me means working together with others in order to achieve something greater than myself.
Creating a Marketing Plan For 2023
I find myself using my strengths more times than ever before - so much better than not having any at all sometimes right? But educating yourself about what has worked best both inside AND outside your organization can also give you insight into how others might have done things differently
I am always looking for ways to make my life, and my business, more fulfilling.
One way is through strategic planning! The SWOT analysis has been one of the most helpful tools in developing strategies that will help me achieve success and happiness.
This technique includes the four key steps of the SWOT analysis:
- Opportunities, and
I know it may sound complicated but a SWOT analysis is not hard at all because you can use my template, which makes everything so easy.
One of the best ways to grow your business is by identifying your weaknesses and turning them into opportunities.
Many business owners are afraid to confront their weaknesses.
It's never fun to reminisce about all of the balls we might have dropped in the last 12 months.
One of your weaknesses may be your Shopify SEO. If so, please check out my free Shopify SEO checklist that will get you off on the right foot!
Or back on track if your creation outpaced your SEO knowledge!
But this activity isn't to beat you up, dear business owner.
Again, identifying our weaknesses and failures of last year will allow us to shift our approach and create opportunities and wins - because we are one year smarter.
This will help you achieve you goals more easily than ever before!
The SWOT analysis is not just about figuring out your strengths, it's also an opportunity to identify weaknesses and turn them into opportunities.
It's an opportunity to prepare for the threats and negative "what ifs" that every business faces.
I hope you enjoyed this short exercise. If you want to dive in even deeper into the process, and use your answers to create a strategic plan for your business in 2023, please check out my SWOT Audit where I can help you map out the final steps of your 2023 strategy.
We’ll walk through how to craft an effective strategy that will guide your content creation, save time, and maximize your marketing efforts.
It's time for action planning that will really move the needle on your business goals. Join me for a personalized SWOT audit for your business!
Good luck and happy marketing!
About the Author:
Crystal Waddell is a Pinterest expert and marketing strategist who helps creative entrepreneurs build profitable businesses.
Crystal started her own company in 2013 and went full-time with it in 2021.
Her mission is to educate and empower 1000 entrepreneurs with the knowledge and confidence to use digital business tools and build a sustainable, algorithm-proof online business.