Strategic Planning: Knowing Where to Begin

Small Business Strategic Planning

Knowing where to start can be one the most difficult parts of the strategic planning process for some of our clients. This article will provide some key definitions and guide you through a high level view of the Strategic Planning Process.

Strategic Business Planning in Minneapolis

Getting Started:

First, clearly understand what strategy is and what your value proposition and value chain are.  2 Steps to Understanding Strategy, this will help you get started.

Next, it is important to clearly understand your role in the organization and how you will be contributing to the Strategy. Are you…

  • the executive team that will be creating an organizational wide strategy?
  • an analyst that will gather, digest, and report data to the executive team?
  • senior management or unit that needs to create and execute action plans?
  • on a team that is developing micro strategies for unit level goals?

There are many other roles that you may fill in this process, however, no matter where you fall in the mix it should be clear what your role and responsibility is, in order to ‘stay in your lane’ for the Strategic Planning Process.

Creative Process:

Strategies are created through the Strategic Planning Process and have a few common elements to ensure the Strategic Plan itself will be sound, cohesive across all units, and effectively implemented.

Strategic Planning is a blend of creative thinking in the ability to identify potential outcomes, and communicating effectively on who will implement it. It is also scientific in the sense that it requires managers to collect, analyze, and translate data into effective action. The end goal is to understand what you do, what you want to become, and how to get there.

A typical process may look like this:

5 steps of a strategic business planning process

Strategic Plans and definitions will vary across industries and size of the organization; however, they all will have these 4 core elements:

  • Direction Statement: a summary of the organizations vision, mission, and value propositions that will guide the strategy.
  • Strategic Objectives: the goals that can be achieved through the outcomes of the Strategic Vision.
  • Priority Issues: the weaknesses or opportunities that are identified to be tackled by the organization to achieve success.
  • Action Plans: clear and specific steps that need to be taken in order to realize the strategic objectives.

Begin at the Beginning:

Understand what a strategy is, define your role in the organization and how you are contributing, create an effective process, and incorporate the 4 core elements of a Strategic Plan. With these steps broken out, you should have an easy starting point to launch into an effective and actionable plan.


Armour Martin Consulting LLC consults with small to mid-sized companies to develop strategies to win in the marketplace. We provide expertly crafted business solutions to solve any business need.

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Joey Martin

Joey is a diverse and comprehensive business professional with over a decade of experience in corporate development and entrepreneurial enterprises. His expertise lies in strategic thinking to develop, plan, implement, and manage projects to achieve desired SMART business goals. His success in this field has specifically been in leadership development of key personnel, marketing strategy, streamlining of operational efficiency, new product conceptions, and financial management.

Joey's mission is to help small business owners realize their vision by filling the gap between their individual expertise and the skill set they need to succeed. For small businesses, the owner is the hero on a journey to succeed in their vision and they need someone to believe in that vision aiding and guiding them along the way. The owner is Don Quixote, Joey is their Sancho. Whether the goal is grow, pivot, or recover the next step is attainable with skilled, targeted, and customized help.

Joey studied Business Administration at Cardinal Stritch University, has certifications from Harvard Business School, and is continuing on to his master’s degree.