A Planning Model for the Ages

This week, I was on a Webinar with a few of our video course members. We were brainstorming how to implement the use of video throughout their businesses, and a great opportunity presented itself. In every example our group presented, it was clear to see that they were operating from the level of tactics, rather than at the higher strategic level, in formulating their Plan.

This is nothing new. I’m seeing a pattern here. Even my consulting clients have a tendency to think of an idea and then jump into action around it. That  knee-jerk way to taking action is not nearly as effective, or fulfilling as a well-planned approach.

I know, planning is hard! Not really. Let’s take a look at the optimum Planning model in the screenshot below. Then, we’ll apply it to an example. (By the way, to get a clearer look, just right click on the image to open it in a new browser.)

StrategyMap 300x115 A Planning Model for the Ages
As this image shows, we tend to jump in at level 4…when we should be testing the idea against level 1.

In a simplified form, here’s the process.

1. First, you have to know how your business fits into your broader Purpose. What “passion” are you about that is reflected in your business?

2 Second, pick a timeframe, and declare your Goals for your business in light of that Vision.

3. Third, each Goal will have several broad-stroke Strategies that present themselves as ways to move forward.

4. Fourth..from there, you can start to identify the individual Action steps that make sense related to each strategy.

5. Finally, you must have in place a System to make sure you get the tasks done and to adjust the Plan accordingly.

Let’s Look At An Example

One of our webinar students stated a desire to help her clients, who are not Internet saavy, to gain online exposure for their business. At the same time, she wants to build her own client base. She was putting together a website designed to meet both of these at the same time.

As we went through the model, it became clear that she had 2 distinct goals that were in opposition to the action she was taking (the website creation). So, we separated the goals in order to be in a position to get a meaningful result. We focused on the more important of those goals first…increasing her client base (a professional service).

From there, a lot of strategies became apparent. Creating a website to attract non-local clients and to better position for the local market, and creating a local postcard mailing campaign are a couple. Following the model, we stick with the first.

Around the website, tactics popped up such as

  • Providing a resource center for prospects on the site to learn how to self-implement a part of the service that was being offered. (The idea is that once they saw the work involved, they’d want to hire the consultant, whom had built credibility with the free information.)
  • Create a free video with valuable content to give away in exchange for the opt-in. (The opportunity to build the relationship would come over time.)
  • While she was creating video content for the website, throw them up onto Youtube, with links to an optin page, to further build her List.

And of course, putting these actions into a calendar system that were time-bound and sequenced ensures success of the system.

I know this is a straight-forward example. But my hope is that you see the value of thinking more strategically as you go about the action of your business.

Tell me what you think. Post your comments below...

  1. Cheri Merz

    It takes discipline to take the time to do this when all the ‘guru’ email screams at you to act now! act now, before it’s too late! I’ve been caught in this trap for years, even though I have very clear knowledge of how to do it. What’s your method to emotionally protect yourself from all the messages that you’re already behind and getting behinder?

    Reply ·
  2. Mynders

    Good question, Cheri.
    It has to start with filtering your email so those things that you don’t need to see don’t come through the filter.

    The big problem is that we can’t resist good sales messages…so we must limit what we expose ourselves to.

    Reply ·

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