When it comes to starting a business, I’ll be the first to admit I’d rather just hit the road and get going. None of this back and forth, setting up structure, figuring out business logistics, deciding who will do what and when (especially if it’s just me starting the business). I want to get to work.
“Let’s start going alreadyyyyyy!”- Me
And, YES! We want you to get to it. Start! The best thing you can do is start. But keep in mind, without a roadmap in place, “just starting” doesn't always get you on the right path.
If you think about it, most of us use a roadmap (aka Google Maps, Waze, or a car/phone’s native navigation) on the regular already. Even if you know where you’re headed, these road maps give live traffic updates, crash alerts, and even police sightings. So why not incorporate that way of thinking into launching your business?
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned, (and continue to learn) is that having that roadmap to guide you on the journey is critical for success.
How do I know?
Good question. How do I personally know it’s critical for success? I started a company without a roadmap and is that company still operating? Nope! Now, there are other factors involved, but some of those factors would not have come into play, had I started with a roadmap.
What Kind of Roadmap?
Again, great question. I’m talking about a Simple Strategic Plan (SSP). Here’s a few helpful links on the Simple Strategic Plan:
It has roots in Mastering the Rockefeller Habits
This provides a guide to a Simplified version of the longer One-Page Strategic Plan (OPSP)
Here’s an example of that simplified version
And heeeey… here’s a template to use for your own planning
Why all the hype?
Why are these, in addition to countless other posts about creating strategic plans, even a thing? In all the huff and puff of the daily grind, it allows you (and your leadership team) to consolidate everything down to the most simple form. You get aligned on your core values, purpose and BHAG (big hairy audacious goal), in addition to the real meat (aka action items).
get you aligned on your core values, purpose, and big hairy audacious goal
It’s not too late!
Now some leaders may be thinking, “Oh, I’m good. We’re approaching $1 million ARR and set to hit $5 million by the end of next year, so we KNOW our roadmap.” First, congrats! Second, you still need to create a Simple Strategic Plan.
Internal communication can become increasingly difficult as a company grows, and a way to make sure that everyone is on the same page is to share the SSP with the entire team. Leadership may all know the plan, but Joe and Sally that just got hired don't have much context.
Remember how I mentioned earlier that roadmaps often provide live traffic updates? Even if you know where you’re headed, a Simple Strategic Plan helps keep you honest. It’s a living and breathing document. You look at it, updated it, and engage with it. In fact, we suggest you revisit it every quarter.
Take a deeper dive into what makes up a Simple Strategic Plan in our next post of this SSP series.