We’re into the third month of 2012 and it’s a good time to see how your strategic plan is unfolding. IBM’s Lou Gerstner once said that having aStrategic plan is roadmap to realizing business' purpose strategy was better than having none at all. See, you can tweak a plan since real life often has some challenge that makes you stop and reassess. A strategic plan is a reflection of your thinking and choices about how you (and your team) shape actions that are taken over the year.

Your plan could reflect:

1. New offerings of products and/or services

2. Back to basics

With the economy remaining turbulent, there comes a point when you have to choose what is best for your business and yourself. Waiting for things to settle is certainly an option but you might be waiting a long time. So, it’s time to back up and remind yourself, why does your business exist? What is its purpose?

How do you make sure your strategic plan is aligned with the purpose of your business?

There is always a lot to do when you run your own business and usually not enough time. However, not having some kind of roadmap to guide you makes it far too easy to chase a shiny new idea or to being busy without your busy-ness producing anything.

Questions for your roadmap:

1. Why is this business still important?

2. What will be celebrated on December 31, 2012?

3. Are these overarching goals written down on paper or in an easy-to-find computer file?

4. What realistic steps or objectives need to be taken to accomplish the year-long goals?

5. Who will be responsible for each goal to make sure the objectives are met?

6. Have you (and your team) identified actual and potential obstacles?

7. How will progress be assessed between now and December 31, 2012?

Does your roadmap reflects how the strategic plan is aligned with the purpose of the business?

What would you add to make sure strategic planning is bringing the purpose into every day existence?

About the author:  I’m Elli St.George Godfrey, a small business coach and trainer who guides established small business owners to be comfortable in their own skin. I have a deep appreciation for learning and understanding my client’s business style and culture. Whether you are expanding in your own backyard or into another country, my 3 keys coaching process helps clients move from being excited about a new business opportunity to having the tools to make it actually happen. Curious? Schedule your complimentary coaching session here.