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Unveiling the Superpower of Strategic Planning in Business

Megan Galane
May 6, 2024
Unveiling the Superpower of Strategic Planning in Business

Welcome to the latest entry in our Seven Figure Educator series, where we explore the transformative power of strategic planning. Our host, Dr. Erica Jordan Thomas, a former teacher, principal, Harvard graduate, and CEO of EJT Education Group, shares her invaluable insights on this critical business tool.

The Essence of Strategic Planning: Strategic planning might seem like a buzzword tossed around in boardrooms, but it’s the cornerstone of success for thriving businesses. It’s the art of defining your mission, aligning your resources, and setting up control mechanisms to steer your business towards its goals. In simpler terms, it’s your game plan for the year ahead, detailing how you’ll score your business goals.

Why Strategic Planning? Dr. Thomas points out a startling observation: the fastest money-makers in business have one thing in common—they all engage in weekly strategic planning. Yet, surprisingly, it’s the least emphasized by business coaches. This gap in entrepreneurial education is what Dr. Thomas aims to bridge in her podcast.

Strategic Planning for Educators-Turned-Entrepreneurs: Educators are no strangers to strategic planning. It’s what they do every academic year—crafting a scope and sequence, setting standards, and breaking them down into daily objectives. Dr. Thomas draws a parallel between this educational approach and business planning. The same principles that guide lesson planning can be applied to business strategy, turning a familiar skill into a superpower for educator-entrepreneurs.

A Three-Tiered Approach to Strategic Planning:

  1. Annual Planning: Before the year begins, set a high-level vision for your business. What’s your mission? Where do you see your business in five years? Dr. Thomas encourages entrepreneurs to clarify their vision and mission, then break it down into a roadmap with one-year, three-year, and five-year milestones.
  2. Quarterly Planning: Dive deeper into the nitty-gritty of your annual plan by focusing on one quarter at a time. This allows for flexibility and adaptability as your business evolves.
  3. Weekly Planning: This is where the rubber meets the road. Weekly planning is your checkpoint to ensure you’re executing your quarterly strategies. It’s a time for reflection, assessment, and pivoting if necessary.

Best Practices for Strategic Planning:

  • Involve your team in the planning process for collective buy-in and creativity.
  • Start your annual planning no later than November to allow for thorough development and team input.
  • Create an environment conducive to strategic thinking by stepping away from daily distractions.
  • Schedule dedicated time for ongoing strategic planning, ensuring you have the space needed to ideate and execute.

Strategic planning is not just about setting goals; it’s about creating a structured path to achieve them. It’s about transforming hopes and wishes into tangible, actionable objectives. With Dr. Thomas’s insights, educators and entrepreneurs alike can harness the power of strategic planning to unlock their business potential.

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