Strategic Action Planning
Your dream should be accompanied by a strategic action plan. One of my favorite quotes is, "A dream without a plan is merely a wish,". One factor that has contributed to my success in business thus far has been learning how to take my goals from visualization stages to real action. The idea here is recognizing how to create actionable steps: a process of breaking down one big goal, into smaller day-to-day tasks that make pursuing a goal feel more attainable and easier to manage.
In the past, one of my most significant setbacks in working toward accomplishing my dreams was overwhelm. I knew I wanted to start a business, but how would I make that happen? How would I find clients? How do I save up enough money for inventory? Learning HOW to address what I call THE BIG HOW as it related to any of my goals completely changed my life. Realizing THE BIG HOW is a process of acknowledging how you will actually go about tackling something you want to accomplish,
for example, you may want to launch a new business, but:
- HOW will this desire to be your own boss change your day-to-day life?
- HOW do you plan to reach potential clients?
- HOW will you find the money to fund your business?
- HOW will you use social media to market to your customers?
-HOW will you make connections with the right people who will help propel you forward?
The answer to these questions lies in the development of a strategic action plan. Here's an example of how to approach the accomplishment of a goal strategically, with actionable steps:
1. Make clear what you want to accomplish. Write your goal down on paper. Make your goal specific, and measurable.
GOAL: This year I will start an organic candle business, and sell 50 candles by the end of 2019.
2. List all of the tasks, in order, that you think it will take to bring this goal to fruition.
TASKS TO COMPLETE
- Save money for supplies to start
- Create a solidified product line
- Make social media accounts
- Make a website
- Order marketing materials (business cards, post cards, flyers)
- Learn how to create social media content
- Create a marketing plan
3. For each of the tasks you list, write down 3 actions you can take to make that happen, and give yourself a timeline for completion.
WEEK 1 ACTION STEPS: Save money for supplies to start
- Pack lunch everyday to avoid eating out
- Find coupons to save on regular grocery purchases
- Sell unwanted clothing or shoes or have a yard sale
WEEK 2 ACTION STEPS: Create a solidified product line
- Order samples to test
- Offer close friends or family samples to test, and ask for their honest reviews
- Write descriptions of each product you choose, listing ingredients, scents, and other info a customer should know
The year is still young, and now is the perfect opportunity to revisit some of your goals for this year, to approach whatever you want to accomplish through a more strategic lens. Recognize THE BIG HOW for your goals this year!
Check out this week's episode of the With Purpose podcast on SoundCloud, the Apple podcast app, or iTunes! I overview my approach to strategic goal setting! LISTEN HERE, or listen below. If you need a reflection tool to help you organize your action plan, check out The Entrepreneur Success Journal!