having trouble beginning a strategic Plan? HINT: Start with the end!

Understanding your destination helps determine the path.

Often the toughest part of strategic planning is getting started. Staring at a blank sheet of paper or an outdated plan can be a daunting situation for both small and large businesses alike.

  • Does our current plan have us on track?
  • What should we introduce?
  • What should we change?

These are great questions that need answers for impactful strategic plans. So, sometimes the best way to begin is to decide how you want to end. By this I mean…start by reviewing your desired exit plan and then build the road between current state and final state. No matter if you're strategizing for a 50-yr old global company or a 15-month old start-up, understanding your company (or business unit) exit conditions will give you the desired end state to achieve. Hypothetical or not, an exit plan gives a real-world growth target for strategic planning purposes. A relevant exit strategy is important for any organization or business unit..

Everyone lives by selling something.

- Robert Louis Stevenson

Ask yourself two questions:

  1. What core competencies makes us most attractive to an acquiring company?
  2. What kind of offer (valuation) would it take for us to sell tomorrow?

Next, start planning for the desired valuation by focusing on your core competencies. This won’t get you to a complete strategic plan, but it should provide enough momentum to kick start the process.