Success in business isn’t an accident.Creating a direction for your company is the first stop on your business journey. Like a road trip, success is paved with careful planning. Wandering off track is easy without it.

When done right, a good strategic plan helps you account for bumps in the road, manage interruptions, and keep your organization on course. The number of results on google for strategic planning is over 36.5 million pages. Almost every business person recognizes the need for a solid strategic plan.

Why then is strategic planning such a hard conversation? Worse yet, why is it easy to set a goal but hard to achieve it? For many people, strategy doesn’t come easy.

Some key questions you should ask yourself:

  • What is your plan worth (Cost & Value)?
  • How will you know if your plan worked?
  • Are the key steps in your plan achieveable?
  • How will the plan get changed if it needs to?

Thousands of consultants out there will help you create a strategic plan. Few of them will teach you what to look for along the way. Fewer still will show you how to re-think your plan as the business environment changes. Beware of consultants that build a dependency on themselves – a surefire way to spot a crook. Be sure to get a completed plan, AND the training along the way to do it yourself in the future.

Have someone evaluate your plans for opportunities and innovative approaches to achieve your goals in shorter periods of time. Such opportunites take the shape of opening new markets or streamlining existing processes. In the end a comprehensive plan takes into account not only where you want to go, but what you need to do to get there.