So, you’ve taken time to look at 2018 and evaluate what worked for you and what didn’t. You have jotted down all the things you’d like to change as well as the great things you accomplished and don’t want to change. Congratulations, that’s one of the hardest parts to start! Now that you’ve gotten that far, let’s go over 7 myths about annual planning so you can stay on the right track and set yourself up for 2019 success.

  1. We Don’t Need a Strategic Plan

Many companies feel a strategic plan is unnecessary. Perhaps because of the business’s size or years active, however, that is gross neglect of your company really. You’ll find it becomes incredibly easy to drift off course as your regular business processes begin to ramp up. With growth, new employees, products, etc. a plan is pertinent to ensure some kind of status quo with your business. Simply ask yourself where you are now, where are you going, and how do you plan to get there? It’s nice to have these things in your head, but it defines them once written down.

  1. You Only have to do it Once a Year

Granted this blog is focused on the end of the year strategic planning, but as you know things shift throughout the year. Don’t be afraid to update this document monthly or quarterly to reflect new information or even obstacles that have come up. Also, don’t worry about perfecting it before dissemination. This allows the strategy to shift through the year as needed and be perfected later on. Not only that, but it is frustrating to spend a large amount of time on something like this.

  1. Planning Should Be Done by Executives Only

There is nothing worse for employees then receiving a strategic plan that looks like a new set of rules to follow. That may be exactly what it is, but including your employees can make adoption of these plans so much more do-able. A strategy is nothing if not everyone is on board with it. If you feel as though, past strategic plans have been a waste of time or may want to reconsider your leadership style. These plans need to be grounded and realistic.

  1. We already have an operational plan

That’s fabulous! You definitely need that to ensure your operations are solid. This includes employee job descriptions, rules, and regulations. Basically, everything you need to keep the internal flow of your organization running smoothly. A strategic plan is meant solely to thrust your business forward. Whether your goal is growth, increased revenue, or even more membership, this is a guide that should help your team navigate expectations throughout the year. Combine your operations plan with your strategic plan and make sure goals are parallel or hit on similar values.

  1. Planning will Predict our Future

That is sort of the idea behind strategy planning, but don’t forget that not everything has to be set in stone. You can create an amazing outline and simply adjust as needed. If something doesn’t work, then why keep doing it? Cross it off your list. If it does work, then full speed ahead and ensure you remember that for next year. Also planning is a thing that helps reduce risk in a business. It doesn’t get rid of the risk, but it certainly helps you be more prepared in case it does pop up.

  1. Our Strategic Plan is Collecting Dust it’s not Necessary

If this is the case, you’re doing it wrong. The whole point of this strategic plan is to get your business on board. This includes the executives, managers and other employees. If your plan is collecting dust, it shows everyone just how important these plans are to the business. So, if you don’t care, why should they? Not only that but this plan should also collect updates throughout the year and as things come up, good and bad.

  1. I Don’t Even Know Where to Start

Creating a strategic plan can often seem overwhelming. Guidance is available but not really necessary. Your employees should be the most knowledgeable about what is happening in your company. Grab a group of the people that you have had the longest and do a bit of a roundtable session. Pose questions and concerns, then go around solving them. Have a note taker compile this information and organize it. Then finally have the executives approve it. Does it reflect your goals and where you want to be in the next year? Does it parallel your companies’ mission and vision? Does it solve problems that have occurred in the past? All of these things will be addressed through the strategic plan. If you feel you still need assistance, feel free to reach out to CharTec. Our experts are here to help. Most of all, don’t let fear run your business!