Strategic Planning Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Strategic Workforce Planning? Strategic Planning

It's the planning process you go through to anticipate your hiring schedule.

For example:
Maybe there is a labor shortage.
Or you don't get the revenue expected.
Or workforce demographics are changing.
Or the skill set needed is changing.
Or a new development changes things.

Strategic workforce planning is planning around all these.
It's trying to plan, budget and take them into account.

For example, if people deliver your services.
Let's say you're a contractor. You get a big contract.
You have to figure out:
Who do I need to hire?
What stage of the project do I need them?
What do I do if I fail to find these people?

It's important because it helps you consider all those options before starting.
The concept of planning is:
When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

It's impossible to predict the future.
But through the planning process, you can have "if/then" concepts in place if needed.
You'll be better off and faster to act if things go wrong.

How To Do Financial Analysis For Business Plan? Strategic Planning

In doing a financial analysis, you need to calculate things like:
Startup costs, operating expenses & any expenses you expect.

A lot of people want to see 3-5 year plans.
The reality is, on the ground, 3 months is far as you can predict.
Change happens all the time.
In terms of execution, you have to focus on the next 3,6 & 12 months max.

Think about your best case, middle, and worst-case scenario.
Up to 5 years out.

Start with a sales forecast.
What do you expect?
How many leads do you expect to generate?
At what price per lead?
What % of those leads do you expect to be quality leads?
Where you can have meaningful interactions with them?
How many of those will turn into sales?
How many of those are one-time vs repeat sales?

You have to create a budget for your expenses.
Develop a cash flow / income projection.
You have to include your assets and liabilities.
Include a breakeven analysis.

If you're a business owner, and you're not savvy with accounting software.
Or profit-loss statements.
You need to hire someone to help you.

In beginning, take little steps.
Start with questions like:
How many sales are expected?
What is the research behind it?
Why are those sales available?
How much are the expected expenses?
How many people do we have to hire to do all this?
What are your assets & liabilities?

The process should be in-depth.
Depending on the purposes.
If it's only for your team, it can be more basic.

If you're trying to get financing, or loans from a bank.
Consider getting professional advice.
Before you talk to them, do some research yourself.
It is not something you can easily delegate.

If you're watching this,
You're likely the main principle(s) of the business.
Meaning you're a founder, co-founder, or you have invested interest.

You can't easily delegate to someone, how many sales you expect to make.
It is something that you have to dive into.

You want to include income statements.
Cash flow projections, expected expenses & any future purchases.

Also, think about your accounting practices.
Are you following "GAAP"?
It means "Generally Accepted Accounting Principles".
That would change your plan.
If you're following GAAP,
You can only claim revenue as profit after delivering service.
Meaning: If someone pays you for a year of service.
You can't spend their money right away.
You have to break it into 12 months.
And then as each month goes by, you can claim the money.

Again, it depends on your reason for doing the analysis.
Some say there are 5 parts:
1. Establish your plan & goals.
2. Make rough cash flow projections.
3. Analyze the risk.
4. Create If/Then plans based on the factors above.
Include a Best case, middle & worst-case plan.
5. Review and refine it regularly.
Get other people to look at it and ask what they think.

We can't anticipate everything.
So these are one of those times when you will need collaboration.

A lot of times entrepreneurs and business owners fear sharing their ideas.
But consider getting an adviser to help you.

That's it. That's the financial plan.
Again, results will speak for themselves.
The plan is to facilitate the results you want.
To have an "If this, then that" plan.
For example,
If sales are down,
Then what?
If sales are above expected,
Then what?
You have to be able to deliver on the promises you make.

That's a rough overview on how to do financial analysis for a business plan.
You need to have an idea of what you expect to make.
How many sales you hope to get. Size of market.

Imagine you have a nice car driving on a dead-end road.
You can't enjoy the full capacity of the engine.
You have to know whether the industry is shrinking or growing.
Right now, there are a lot of great tools online to help you with that.

If you have more questions like this,
You can go to my website:

We interview a lot of experts on different subjects.

Like I said, get lots of advice & input on your plans.
You can also keep searching in google for questions like this.
Do what you can.
It's income vs expenses.
Immediate, short-term, long-term, super long-term.
Income, expenses, and contingency plans.
That's it. At a basic level.

Good luck!

How Are Projects Linked To The Strategic Plan? Strategic Planning

A strategic plan is about your goals.
And how you plan to achieve those goals.
That's the strategy.
It's anticipating the landscape.

For example, take an ecosystem.
Let's say there's a pond.
You're a bird but there are a lot of birds.
You're trying to figure out your niche.
Part of that is looking at other birds for ideas.
You take a look at what they're eating.
You figure out the common ground for everyone,
What opportunities are available,
Then make a plan on how you'll fit into the ecosystem.
Based on what is available.
Where the best opportunity for you is.

Project management is taking 1 goal.
Then breaking it down into specifics:
- Costs.
- Meeting Schedules.
- Resources [People + Materials].
- Timelines For Each Step.
- Critical Success Path.

Project management is managing details of execution as they happen.
About how you will accomplish a goal.

The strategic plan is the research and the planning process.

If you're going into a road trip,
A strategic plan would be answering the questions:
Where are we going?
How will we get there?
How often do we want to stop, rest & explore?

Project management is managing the execution of it, as you go.
How much gas do we have?
Do we need more?
Is our gas tank leaking?
Is the driver in good condition?
What do we do to stay on track with the plan?

That is the difference between:
Strategic plan and project management.

If you like more answers to questions like this,
Go to

How To Monitor A Strategic Plan? Strategic Planning

You get what you inspect.
Monitoring a strategic plan is setting up regular review points.
Is it weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually?
While keeping an eye out for opportunities.

You have to determine:
How effective is the plan so far?
Are we allocating resources according to the plan?
Are you getting the results you hoped for?

It is about how you monitor.
You have to put measurements in place.
This is where Business Intelligence comes into play.

We have identified 8 Critical Success Factors
8 things significant to the success of small & medium-sized businesses.

One of them is Business Intelligence.
This is a video for strategic planning,
But monitoring you strategic plan includes Business Intelligence Systems.
The feedback loops.

Like I've said, to have a regular review.
You need feedback loops.
These include:
1. Lagging Factors.
2. Leading Factors.
Measurements on key performance indicators.

It means:
For example, let's say you determine success based on sales.
Sales are a lagging factor, because a lot of work happens.
Before you get the sale.

So in this example you'd include leading factors.
These might be:
Engagement on your ads.
Are people + or - engaging with it?
Do they love it & share it with others?
Another one is client satisfaction.
Client satisfaction creates word of mouth, referrals, and repeat sales.
BUT you have to satisfy them BEFORE they give you those.

So satisfaction would be a leading factor, whereas, the sale would come after. [lagging factor].

So, how do you monitor a strategic plan?
You have to set up business intelligence feedback loops.
You have to have tracking in place.
And regularly review progress.
Check if the plan is on track.
Or not.
That is how you review a strategy.

Like the analogy of a road trip,
It would be easy if you have a map.
With your destination and your current place marked.
If it's tracked, it's easier for you to look at where you are, and measure:
Are we on the right track?
How long will it take to get there?
What is our process?

You can create all sorts of tools to check your progress.
To monitor productivity.
Overall, it's setting up feedback loops & monitoring leading & lagging factors.

What Does A Business Continuity Plan Typically Include? Strategic Planning

It includes a checklist containing:
 -Data backups.
-Data locations.
- Who are the admins?
- What's their contact information?
- Who are the emergency responders?
- Who are the key personnel and what are their responsibilities?
- What's the threat matrix?
- What else do you have to worry about?
- What are the critical process you have to protect?
- Who can declare a company emergency/disaster?
-Is there an evacuation facility?
-What's the communication plan?

All of these go in a continuity plan.
It's about preparation & planning for the worst-case scenario in advance.

Like a fire escape plan.
You don't make the plan when the building's on fire.
You want to have a plan in place before.

It means taking time and role-playing different possible scenarios.
The good news is:
You don't need to worry about 101 things.
Typically, there are only a handful of things. 1-10.
You can plan for them over time.
Then review it on a regular basis.
Getting the key people involved.
Then pick a scenario to role-play what might happen in the future.
The possible actions you should take.
[whenever anything unexpected happens.]

As you role-play and walking you'll identify more scenarios to expect.

Brainstorm as much as you can.
Talk to other people.
Get resources you need ready.
And finally, come up with your business continuity plan.
It's not important until it is.
By then, it might be too late.

It's a good idea to schedule time to think about it.
It's like a resource file where you keep a list of the important things.
Your intellectual property, any legal contracts, or agreements.
All that stuff.

If something unexpected happens,
What would you do?
If the main people in charge disappear?
Is there a sacred knowledge problem?
Are there critical things no one else has any idea how to do?
You have to find out what those are.
Get that documentation written down.

Make it easy to know:
Where is it?
Who is responsible for what?
How to contact the people involved?
If you can't do it/find it, what do you do then?

How To Make A Small Business Plan? Strategic Planning

Traditional business plans use some combination of these 9 sections:
1. Executive Summary.
- Brief description of what a company is, the plan & why will it be successful?
2. More Detailed Company Description.
3. Market Analysis.
4. Organization & Management Plan.
5. Service/Product Line.
6. Marketing & Sales Plan.
7. Funding Request.
8. Financial Projections.
9. Appendix/Conclusion.

On top of that, make sure you cover the:
Situation analysis.
The market positioning, marketing objectives & your strategy.

I've spent over $50,000 dollars to have the body of research reviewed.
To find what makes the difference for small & medium-sized businesses.
We found there are 8 Critical Success Factors for small & medium-sized businesses.

1. Self-Efficacy.
2. Strategic Planning.
3. Market Intelligence.
4. Marketing Strategy.
5. Sales Strategy & Skills.
6. Money Management.
7. Business Operations.
8. Business Intelligence.

These are 8 things I think belong in your plan because each is critical.
I'll give you have a brief overview of them now.
But go to for more info on them.

1. Self Efficacy.
Is about personal effectiveness.
It's the ability to wake up, plan your time & manage yourself to get things done.
It's the ability to articulate your vision & goals.
To work well with others.
This factor is important as it matters to you.
Plus everyone in your company.
When the people in your company are not being effective.
They will not be as productive as they could be.
This results in less than optimal performance.
Self-efficacy is the pillar everything stands on.
Because if the people in your company aren't getting anything done...
You're not going anywhere.

2. Strategic Planning.
This is important.
For example, No one is selling pet rocks anymore.
But once upon a time, they were a trend.
It was an easy thing to sell.
There were a lot of knock-offs.
But it was a trend and then disappeared.
A strategic plan makes sure there's longevity in what you're doing.
It makes sure what you're going to offer is not redundant.
Or not about to be redundant.
A strategic plan ensures you are jumping in a swimming pool with water.
It'd surprise you how many people start businesses doomed to fail.
Like jumping into a pool with no water.
They did not check first.

3. Market Intelligence.
This knowing who the competitors are.
What other options are available for consumers.
What do consumers like/dislike?
What do consumers want?
What are the problems the existing products solve?
What problems are not getting solved?
All this know-how comes into market intelligence.

4. Marketing Strategy.
A way to communicate with people.
Where are they?
How will you approach them?
How will you get their attention?
Indicate who's interested or not?
How are going to find them?
What does someone interested do?
Where do you hand off to the sales team?
What's the marketing strategy?
Is there a process?
How are going to share your message with the world?

5. Sales Strategy & Skills.
These are similar. Sales Skills + Sales Strategy.
If you have the wrong strategy, the best salesperson might fail regardless.
But, even if you have a great strategy.
If the person has no sales skills, they may not be able to execute it.
Those 2 things are similar.
It's a gray area where the sales strategy ends & the sales skills begin.
Vice versa.
The good news is, marketing hands off to sales.
It can guide your strategy.
How those 2 have to play.

6. Money Management.
Poor management of funds can kill a business.
Even if you have great funding behind you.
If it's mismanaged, it will not work out.
Money to a business is like gasoline to a car.
It helps fuel where you want to go.
For example:
Money will fix repairs.
It will pay to bring in new people.
Pay for equipment.
Pay for access to an event/person, or intellectual property.
Money management is critically important.

7. Business Operations.
Training schedules. Meeting rhythms.
Planning sessions.
Where is all your documentation on how you do what you do?
Is there documentation?
Human resources.
All the glue holding things together.
Consider business operations as the glue between things.
For example:
If you have to abide by certain laws. Like government regulation.
That's part of the operations for your business.
That's a function you need to do to operate.
It's like manners.
Manners are the grease between human interactions.
They eliminate friction.
Manners help reduce friction in human interactions.
This is what business operations are for.
It's the grease in the wheels.
Does management meet once a year?
Is it productive?

How far behind will you fall if you're only meeting once a year?
Versus every week.
When you hire people, how do you hire them?
Is there an onboarding process?
Those are all under operations.
Are you legally compliant?

8. Business Intelligence.
These are the feedback loops to update you on how you're doing.
They track leading & lagging factors.
For example, everyone wants to track sales.
Sales are important, but customer satisfaction is also important.
Customer satisfaction can lead to repeat sales & referrals.
Meaning, customer satisfaction would come before repeat sales & referrals.
Therefore, customer satisfaction would be a leading factor.
Sales the lagging factor.
How many repeat sales do you get?
How many referrals do you get?
Business intelligence is about the feedback you're getting.
Do people like your content?
Are they engaging?
Are customers happy?
How are your staff?
Business intelligence is all those things.
It's about being able to hold up a mirror.
See yourself how the world sees you.