Strategic planning

Before you get lost in the details, take a step back. Outline a clear vision and a coherent set of values for your new business. Develop a mission statement and use it to define some short-term goals and priorities. There are three elements needed in advance of you developing a plan and throughout your life you will need to constantly re-think and redefine these elements.
The first are your values. Values are non-negotiable characteristics that you and ultimately your business will reflect. Values could include respect, honesty, joy, forgiveness, patience, humility, commitment, love, generosity, righteousness, etc. We personally believe each person should have a core set of values. These are values that you have learned throughout your life that guide you in everything you do or say.
Next, a Vision is a clear mental portrait of a preferable future. Vision involves change and focuses on what you want the future to be like. Vision provides direction. We challenge anyone who wants to change the direction of his or her life to take a weekend and think about his or her vision of where he or she wants to be down the road. Think about your personal needs and your professional goals. The two better mesh or you have set yourself up to fail.
Are you living as the person you want to be? What is the point? Building any business involves hard work. But it should also include a clear set of rewards. What do you want? Besides all that, you need to define some concrete motivation that goes beyond the satisfaction of a job well done.
Now, how about a mission for your business? A mission is the grand purpose for which you or your business exists. Be careful not to make this too narrow. Your mission statement is a reflection of who you are, and guides your business. We visited a law firm that had a mission to serve the legal needs of an entire state. Well that is pretty broad based. They wouldn’t take any cases from the mountains and they wouldn’t do real estate. That doesn’t sound like “serving the legal needs of the state”.
You are ready to start strategic planning. This is nothing more than a map showing you how to achieve your vision without violating your values. Once you have a clear road map for your business, you can plan your journey with more confidence.