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Strategic Planning and Stomach Fortitude: What Does It Really Mean?

Insights about strategic planning and stomach fortitude, as a business owner.

First off, why bring this subject to the table? Usually, it starts with a dream, a vision, a purpose. Then it can quickly turn into a survival ability. Staying afloat, you know, when things don’t go exactly as planned, and the idea of killing the business is inconceivable. You’ve probably heard that not having the resources is not an excuse. Resourcefulness, the ability to find resources, becomes the most valuable weapon of any business owner. So when exactly do things go off-track?

Let’s start by dissecting some core principles. What is strategic planning exactly?

Using a different approach from what you can find online, I’ll define it as the ability to zoom in and out from your vision. The more zoomed out you are, the more significant your vision and purpose are; the more zoomed in, the more practical and logical it becomes.

So rephrasing the topic at hand, strategy is first about the vision, the zoom-out version. When you are zoomed in, we talk more about tactics rather than strategy. Tactics are the tools in place to execute the strategy.

Why do we need it, and what’s in it for us as business owners?

Things can go off track easily when doing “things” in our daily activities if we don’t have a plan, a clear vision, a clear goal, and a clear exit strategy. And that’s most likely because you are in the trenches, doing the work yourself as well.

In that regard, the sooner you can delegate the small tasks, the better, so that you can focus more on the vision, mission, and purpose of your business, focusing your attention more on strategy, with better data-driven decision-making, and delegating the tasks to execute the tactics.

If you can’t do that yet, it seems that you only have one option left, which is to be good at role-playing with yourself, and know exactly what hat you are wearing at any given time. But not exactly. This is when strategic planning comes into play. You can now start thinking in terms of return on investment and not in terms of costs. Surely there are expenses, but what I’m referring to is mindset and vision.

Why vision, mindset and strategy matters?

For example. If you think spending X amount on Google Ads is expensive, then you’re seeing it wrong. What you’d rather consider is, how much is my business getting in return from that investment, for every single step you take?

In round numbers, on a basic approach, imagine that you’re a small business owner and your average sale is £100, and your profit margin is 20%, then you profit £20 per sale. Meaning that if you have 25 extra sales from those £500 invested, then you’ll have no profit loss.

However, you’ll have other gains, such as increased cash flow, brand awareness, and on top of that, you get potentially 25 more reviews, 25 more clients to upsell to, and an opportunity to increase your client’s lifetime value.

The question now becomes, how can I make sure that my advertising material and marketing strategy are effective enough to guarantee at least 25 more sales with a £500 investment in ads? Moreover, how can I use this in the long term to increase my sales?

To make sure it works and because you don’t have the time or expertise, you hire an expert to get that done for you, and you add, let’s say, another £1000 on top of the £500. Now you’ll need 75 extra sales instead of 25 to have zero profit loss.

Here’s when you have to make a decision as a business owner. Should you do it yourself, or delegate that to someone else? What is my exit strategy? Meaning, how much is too much in terms of profit loss? What if I can only get 25 extra sales instead of 75? What if I have no extra sales at all? Set your numbers, and stick to those.

It gets easy at this point to let go, due to a lack of belief, and lack of long-term commitment, or due to lack of vision. If you only focus on the immediate loss, you might be missing out on the long-term gains. On the other hand, you have to be sure that those losses are not critical for your business. Or, if they are critical, then you’ll have to make sure you give it all you’ve got to make it work. But you are most likely doing that already, right? And this is when the energy starts draining rapidly. Why?

If Mr. Ford had waited to have the perfect car before selling it, you’d never have heard about Ford because the brand would not exist.

So if you plan ahead and consider that you’ll need to test the market, the audience, and any other aspect, then you can adapt the tactics for the strategy itself, and not necessarily change the strategy. For example, consider doing three ad campaigns instead of just one, analyse the numbers as you go, understand what’s not working and at what stage, adapt and get more effective in executing your tactics.

This is why I’ve heard so many times from different successful entrepreneurs: be slow to change the big picture, and be quick to change the micro.

What makes it easy to fail?

Without proper planning and resilience, it’s easy to stop believing in the current tactics and services or products you’re selling. One can start doubting their own vision and mission when the everyday activities are not working, letting the zoomed-in version significantly affect the overall zoomed-out version—your vision, the reason why you went into business in the first place.

Plausible solutions.

Stop overthinking. 

Too much thinking cripples action-taking abilities, that’s why we call it overthinking. Think just enough, plan, take action, get results, adapt. If you’re still having doubts, most likely you’re being too emotional. Business is not emotional; the market doesn’t care about your emotions. Acknowledge them, put them aside, and take action. What can you do today to move the needle forward? What tactic can you use to execute your vision? What are your concerns, and how can you overcome them, or who can you talk to, to help you with that?

Get a non-biased opinion.

What also helps is having an external point of view, a non-biased opinion. That one will surely be unemotional and will help you not only have more practical options on the table but also help you overcome those emotional barriers, often caused by a lack of self-confidence, falsely rooted beliefs, lack of competitor analysis, or just a lack of experience to show you what success looks like from a different perspective.

Know your numbers.

Finally, I’d also reinforce the idea of knowing your numbers. If you don’t know your numbers, how can you adapt effectively? So make it easy to see the numbers. If it’s difficult to get them, the resistance barrier is high, and you won’t check them regularly. If you don’t even know what numbers to see and where to get them, well, that’s like sailing blind.

Stomach fortitude.

Stomach fortitude comes into place when deciding those numbers, taking calculated risks, trusting the process, and trusting yourself. Not necessarily only trusting that you’ll succeed, but most importantly, trusting that you’ll know how to handle the situation if it goes off-track, knowing that there is no failure, only lessons.

Vision > Mission > SMART Goals > Strategy > Tactics > Taking Action.

Conclusion.

Strategic planning is not just a business buzzword; it’s a vital process that transforms your vision into reality and ensures sustainable growth. By understanding and implementing strategic planning, you equip yourself with the tools to anticipate challenges, allocate resources effectively, and make informed decisions.

Key points to remember include the distinction between strategy and tactics, the importance of maintaining a clear vision, and the necessity of delegating tasks to focus on high-level planning. It’s essential to think in terms of return on investment rather than costs, and to remain adaptable by testing and refining your tactics without losing sight of your overarching strategy.

By planning ahead and being prepared to adapt, you can stay resilient in the face of setbacks and maintain your focus on long-term goals. Knowing your numbers, trusting the process, and having the courage to take calculated risks will help you navigate the uncertainties of business life.

Ultimately, strategic planning is about ensuring that every action you take moves you closer to your business goals. It requires a balance of vision, practical action, and constant evaluation. If you find yourself struggling with this process, seeking external advice or assistance can provide valuable perspective and help you stay on track.

If strategic planning is an area that needs attention in your business, don’t hesitate to reach out. Together, we can create a roadmap that not only keeps your business afloat but propels it towards greater success.

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Insights about strategic planning and stomach fortitude, as a business owner.

First off, why bring this subject to the table? Usually, it starts with a dream, a vision, a purpose. Then it can quickly turn into a survival ability. Staying afloat, you know, when things don’t go exactly as planned, and the idea of killing the business is inconceivable. You’ve probably heard that not having the resources is not an excuse. Resourcefulness, the ability to find resources, becomes the most valuable weapon of any business owner. So when exactly do things go off-track?

Let’s start by dissecting some core principles. What is strategic planning exactly?

Using a different approach from what you can find online, I’ll define it as the ability to zoom in and out from your vision. The more zoomed out you are, the more significant your vision and purpose are; the more zoomed in, the more practical and logical it becomes.

So rephrasing the topic at hand, strategy is first about the vision, the zoom-out version. When you are zoomed in, we talk more about tactics rather than strategy. Tactics are the tools in place to execute the strategy.

Why do we need it, and what’s in it for us as business owners?

Things can go off track easily when doing “things” in our daily activities if we don’t have a plan, a clear vision, a clear goal, and a clear exit strategy. And that’s most likely because you are in the trenches, doing the work yourself as well.

In that regard, the sooner you can delegate the small tasks, the better, so that you can focus more on the vision, mission, and purpose of your business, focusing your attention more on strategy, with better data-driven decision-making, and delegating the tasks to execute the tactics.

If you can’t do that yet, it seems that you only have one option left, which is to be good at role-playing with yourself, and know exactly what hat you are wearing at any given time. But not exactly. This is when strategic planning comes into play. You can now start thinking in terms of return on investment and not in terms of costs. Surely there are expenses, but what I’m referring to is mindset and vision.

Why vision, mindset and strategy matters?

For example. If you think spending X amount on Google Ads is expensive, then you’re seeing it wrong. What you’d rather consider is, how much is my business getting in return from that investment, for every single step you take?

In round numbers, on a basic approach, imagine that you’re a small business owner and your average sale is £100, and your profit margin is 20%, then you profit £20 per sale. Meaning that if you have 25 extra sales from those £500 invested, then you’ll have no profit loss.

However, you’ll have other gains, such as increased cash flow, brand awareness, and on top of that, you get potentially 25 more reviews, 25 more clients to upsell to, and an opportunity to increase your client’s lifetime value.

The question now becomes, how can I make sure that my advertising material and marketing strategy are effective enough to guarantee at least 25 more sales with a £500 investment in ads? Moreover, how can I use this in the long term to increase my sales?

To make sure it works and because you don’t have the time or expertise, you hire an expert to get that done for you, and you add, let’s say, another £1000 on top of the £500. Now you’ll need 75 extra sales instead of 25 to have zero profit loss.

Here’s when you have to make a decision as a business owner. Should you do it yourself, or delegate that to someone else? What is my exit strategy? Meaning, how much is too much in terms of profit loss? What if I can only get 25 extra sales instead of 75? What if I have no extra sales at all? Set your numbers, and stick to those.

It gets easy at this point to let go, due to a lack of belief, and lack of long-term commitment, or due to lack of vision. If you only focus on the immediate loss, you might be missing out on the long-term gains. On the other hand, you have to be sure that those losses are not critical for your business. Or, if they are critical, then you’ll have to make sure you give it all you’ve got to make it work. But you are most likely doing that already, right? And this is when the energy starts draining rapidly. Why?

If Mr. Ford had waited to have the perfect car before selling it, you’d never have heard about Ford because the brand would not exist.

So if you plan ahead and consider that you’ll need to test the market, the audience, and any other aspect, then you can adapt the tactics for the strategy itself, and not necessarily change the strategy. For example, consider doing three ad campaigns instead of just one, analyse the numbers as you go, understand what’s not working and at what stage, adapt and get more effective in executing your tactics.

This is why I’ve heard so many times from different successful entrepreneurs: be slow to change the big picture, and be quick to change the micro.

What makes it easy to fail?

Without proper planning and resilience, it’s easy to stop believing in the current tactics and services or products you’re selling. One can start doubting their own vision and mission when the everyday activities are not working, letting the zoomed-in version significantly affect the overall zoomed-out version—your vision, the reason why you went into business in the first place.

Plausible solutions.

Stop overthinking. 

Too much thinking cripples action-taking abilities, that’s why we call it overthinking. Think just enough, plan, take action, get results, adapt. If you’re still having doubts, most likely you’re being too emotional. Business is not emotional; the market doesn’t care about your emotions. Acknowledge them, put them aside, and take action. What can you do today to move the needle forward? What tactic can you use to execute your vision? What are your concerns, and how can you overcome them, or who can you talk to, to help you with that?

Get a non-biased opinion.

What also helps is having an external point of view, a non-biased opinion. That one will surely be unemotional and will help you not only have more practical options on the table but also help you overcome those emotional barriers, often caused by a lack of self-confidence, falsely rooted beliefs, lack of competitor analysis, or just a lack of experience to show you what success looks like from a different perspective.

Know your numbers.

Finally, I’d also reinforce the idea of knowing your numbers. If you don’t know your numbers, how can you adapt effectively? So make it easy to see the numbers. If it’s difficult to get them, the resistance barrier is high, and you won’t check them regularly. If you don’t even know what numbers to see and where to get them, well, that’s like sailing blind.

Stomach fortitude.

Stomach fortitude comes into place when deciding those numbers, taking calculated risks, trusting the process, and trusting yourself. Not necessarily only trusting that you’ll succeed, but most importantly, trusting that you’ll know how to handle the situation if it goes off-track, knowing that there is no failure, only lessons.

Vision > Mission > SMART Goals > Strategy > Tactics > Taking Action.

Conclusion.

Strategic planning is not just a business buzzword; it’s a vital process that transforms your vision into reality and ensures sustainable growth. By understanding and implementing strategic planning, you equip yourself with the tools to anticipate challenges, allocate resources effectively, and make informed decisions.

Key points to remember include the distinction between strategy and tactics, the importance of maintaining a clear vision, and the necessity of delegating tasks to focus on high-level planning. It’s essential to think in terms of return on investment rather than costs, and to remain adaptable by testing and refining your tactics without losing sight of your overarching strategy.

By planning ahead and being prepared to adapt, you can stay resilient in the face of setbacks and maintain your focus on long-term goals. Knowing your numbers, trusting the process, and having the courage to take calculated risks will help you navigate the uncertainties of business life.

Ultimately, strategic planning is about ensuring that every action you take moves you closer to your business goals. It requires a balance of vision, practical action, and constant evaluation. If you find yourself struggling with this process, seeking external advice or assistance can provide valuable perspective and help you stay on track.

If strategic planning is an area that needs attention in your business, don’t hesitate to reach out. Together, we can create a roadmap that not only keeps your business afloat but propels it towards greater success.

Insights about strategic planning and stomach fortitude, as a business owner.

First off, why bring this subject to the table? Usually, it starts with a dream, a vision, a purpose. Then it can quickly turn into a survival ability. Staying afloat, you know, when things don’t go exactly as planned, and the idea of killing the business is inconceivable. You’ve probably heard that not having the resources is not an excuse. Resourcefulness, the ability to find resources, becomes the most valuable weapon of any business owner. So when exactly do things go off-track?

Let’s start by dissecting some core principles. What is strategic planning exactly?

Using a different approach from what you can find online, I’ll define it as the ability to zoom in and out from your vision. The more zoomed out you are, the more significant your vision and purpose are; the more zoomed in, the more practical and logical it becomes.

So rephrasing the topic at hand, strategy is first about the vision, the zoom-out version. When you are zoomed in, we talk more about tactics rather than strategy. Tactics are the tools in place to execute the strategy.

Why do we need it, and what’s in it for us as business owners?

Things can go off track easily when doing “things” in our daily activities if we don’t have a plan, a clear vision, a clear goal, and a clear exit strategy. And that’s most likely because you are in the trenches, doing the work yourself as well.

In that regard, the sooner you can delegate the small tasks, the better, so that you can focus more on the vision, mission, and purpose of your business, focusing your attention more on strategy, with better data-driven decision-making, and delegating the tasks to execute the tactics.

If you can’t do that yet, it seems that you only have one option left, which is to be good at role-playing with yourself, and know exactly what hat you are wearing at any given time. But not exactly. This is when strategic planning comes into play. You can now start thinking in terms of return on investment and not in terms of costs. Surely there are expenses, but what I’m referring to is mindset and vision.

Why vision, mindset and strategy matters?

For example. If you think spending X amount on Google Ads is expensive, then you’re seeing it wrong. What you’d rather consider is, how much is my business getting in return from that investment, for every single step you take?

In round numbers, on a basic approach, imagine that you’re a small business owner and your average sale is £100, and your profit margin is 20%, then you profit £20 per sale. Meaning that if you have 25 extra sales from those £500 invested, then you’ll have no profit loss.

However, you’ll have other gains, such as increased cash flow, brand awareness, and on top of that, you get potentially 25 more reviews, 25 more clients to upsell to, and an opportunity to increase your client’s lifetime value.

The question now becomes, how can I make sure that my advertising material and marketing strategy are effective enough to guarantee at least 25 more sales with a £500 investment in ads? Moreover, how can I use this in the long term to increase my sales?

To make sure it works and because you don’t have the time or expertise, you hire an expert to get that done for you, and you add, let’s say, another £1000 on top of the £500. Now you’ll need 75 extra sales instead of 25 to have zero profit loss.

Here’s when you have to make a decision as a business owner. Should you do it yourself, or delegate that to someone else? What is my exit strategy? Meaning, how much is too much in terms of profit loss? What if I can only get 25 extra sales instead of 75? What if I have no extra sales at all? Set your numbers, and stick to those.

It gets easy at this point to let go, due to a lack of belief, and lack of long-term commitment, or due to lack of vision. If you only focus on the immediate loss, you might be missing out on the long-term gains. On the other hand, you have to be sure that those losses are not critical for your business. Or, if they are critical, then you’ll have to make sure you give it all you’ve got to make it work. But you are most likely doing that already, right? And this is when the energy starts draining rapidly. Why?

If Mr. Ford had waited to have the perfect car before selling it, you’d never have heard about Ford because the brand would not exist.

So if you plan ahead and consider that you’ll need to test the market, the audience, and any other aspect, then you can adapt the tactics for the strategy itself, and not necessarily change the strategy. For example, consider doing three ad campaigns instead of just one, analyse the numbers as you go, understand what’s not working and at what stage, adapt and get more effective in executing your tactics.

This is why I’ve heard so many times from different successful entrepreneurs: be slow to change the big picture, and be quick to change the micro.

What makes it easy to fail?

Without proper planning and resilience, it’s easy to stop believing in the current tactics and services or products you’re selling. One can start doubting their own vision and mission when the everyday activities are not working, letting the zoomed-in version significantly affect the overall zoomed-out version—your vision, the reason why you went into business in the first place.

Plausible solutions.

Stop overthinking. 

Too much thinking cripples action-taking abilities, that’s why we call it overthinking. Think just enough, plan, take action, get results, adapt. If you’re still having doubts, most likely you’re being too emotional. Business is not emotional; the market doesn’t care about your emotions. Acknowledge them, put them aside, and take action. What can you do today to move the needle forward? What tactic can you use to execute your vision? What are your concerns, and how can you overcome them, or who can you talk to, to help you with that?

Get a non-biased opinion.

What also helps is having an external point of view, a non-biased opinion. That one will surely be unemotional and will help you not only have more practical options on the table but also help you overcome those emotional barriers, often caused by a lack of self-confidence, falsely rooted beliefs, lack of competitor analysis, or just a lack of experience to show you what success looks like from a different perspective.

Know your numbers.

Finally, I’d also reinforce the idea of knowing your numbers. If you don’t know your numbers, how can you adapt effectively? So make it easy to see the numbers. If it’s difficult to get them, the resistance barrier is high, and you won’t check them regularly. If you don’t even know what numbers to see and where to get them, well, that’s like sailing blind.

Stomach fortitude.

Stomach fortitude comes into place when deciding those numbers, taking calculated risks, trusting the process, and trusting yourself. Not necessarily only trusting that you’ll succeed, but most importantly, trusting that you’ll know how to handle the situation if it goes off-track, knowing that there is no failure, only lessons.

Vision > Mission > SMART Goals > Strategy > Tactics > Taking Action.

Conclusion.

Strategic planning is not just a business buzzword; it’s a vital process that transforms your vision into reality and ensures sustainable growth. By understanding and implementing strategic planning, you equip yourself with the tools to anticipate challenges, allocate resources effectively, and make informed decisions.

Key points to remember include the distinction between strategy and tactics, the importance of maintaining a clear vision, and the necessity of delegating tasks to focus on high-level planning. It’s essential to think in terms of return on investment rather than costs, and to remain adaptable by testing and refining your tactics without losing sight of your overarching strategy.

By planning ahead and being prepared to adapt, you can stay resilient in the face of setbacks and maintain your focus on long-term goals. Knowing your numbers, trusting the process, and having the courage to take calculated risks will help you navigate the uncertainties of business life.

Ultimately, strategic planning is about ensuring that every action you take moves you closer to your business goals. It requires a balance of vision, practical action, and constant evaluation. If you find yourself struggling with this process, seeking external advice or assistance can provide valuable perspective and help you stay on track.

If strategic planning is an area that needs attention in your business, don’t hesitate to reach out. Together, we can create a roadmap that not only keeps your business afloat but propels it towards greater success.

Subscribe for the updates!