• Paulette Pinero

Ten Steps For Strategic Planning And How it Can Help Your Business in 2021 (Part 2)

In part one, we talked about the benefits of creating a strategic plan that lets you set goals for the entire year. We went over the planning phase, building the "dream team," collecting and analyzing your data, and identifying opportunities for this upcoming year.

Now it's time to organize what you have learned and write a plan that allows you to focus on your bottom line and clarify your goals to everyone who works with you, even your clients.

If you are a Latinx leader struggling to put these ideas into action and staying accountable, these next 5 steps are going to help you reach your New Year's goals.

Writing Your Strategic Plan

#6. Achieving the mission and focus.


You have created a list of focus areas for the upcoming year (step #5), and now you will develop objectives that will keep you mission-driven. Remember to go back to your list of values and the SWOT analysis. Your team will create 3-6 objectives per focus area, and these should have a start date and deadline attached to them.


Objectives in a strategic plan are high-level descriptions of what you want to achieve with a timeline of when it will happen. Once you complete the objective, you move to the next one.


Here's an example of how it looks at LEAD Media:

Vision for 2021: Ensure that every millennial Latina leader finds joy in her career or business.

Value: Impact

Focus Area: Repeat business from clients

  • Objective #1: Be the #1 option for past and current clients who are looking to grow in leadership, launch a business, scale their business, or looking for their next role by December 31, 2021.


#7. Organizing your projects and initiatives.


Once you have written your objectives, you will create a project for each of those. Writing objectives is one of the most challenging areas because we are used to building projects and initiatives first and then tie them to the larger goals. It's ok to struggle with this part and to rely heavily on your team.


A project explains how you deliver on your objectives, and they are not metrics based (so no specific numbers or percentages are needed). Write 1-2 projects per objective. Include a deadline for this project, and if you are using a project management tool or an Excel spreadsheet, add a column with a start date and end date.


Projects can happen during a short period or extend across the whole year, and they will have metrics attached to them in the next section (#8). This is also the opportunity to identify what teams or departments will be responsible for the project. Foster cross-collaboration and get several people on board. If you are a solopreneur like me, talk to your team or your advisors for, you guessed it, advice. When you assign responsibilities, you might realize you need to get extra help to achieve your business and financial goals, and a Virtual Assistant is the first thing you should take a look at doing. We have a great article on this topic here.


When you assign responsibilities, you might realize you need to get extra help to achieve your business and financial goals, and a Virtual Assistant is the first thing you should take a look at doing.

PRO-TIP: The "rule" should be that if the project doesn't align with an objective < focus area < value < mission < vision, it is not a priority, and you should not invest time or money in it. There's still space to innovate and pivot because your strategic plan is a guide and can change. A good strategic plan is flexible enough to change and still focus on impact. That is why I always recommend small business owners to write 1 yr plans instead of 2 or 3 years in advance.

#8. Know your metrics.

Each one of your objectives will have a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) to help you track your progress or PTG (Progress-to-Goals) throughout the year or each quarter. Like Objectives and Projects, KPIs have a timeline attached to them, start with a verb, and have a metric or number attached to them.


Here's how it looks at LEAD Media:


Focus Area: Repeat business from clients

  • Objective #1: Be the #1 option for past and current clients who are looking to grow in leadership, launch a business, scale their business, or looking for their next role by December 31, 2021.

  • Project: Launch a monthly communication for past clients, current clients, and prospects by January 15, 2021. (Timeline: December 15, 2020 - December 31, 2021)

  • KPI: Secure 65% monthly newsletter email openings.

  • KPI: Secure 45% click rate.

This example requires several things like signing up for an email manager like Active Campaign or MailChimp, creating a template, having a list of contacts, reviewing your client feedback to see what topics they want to read about, learning about email engagement, and creating the content. You can create larger and smaller goals from projects and KPIs once your strategic plan is completed.

PRO-TIP: Metrics look great on a document, but to make them attainable and keep everyone at your company accountable, these need to be discussed at least every other month. Create a simple dashboard using your favorite project management tool, use your CRM, or create a simple spreadsheet on Google Sheets. Choose who will be in charge of updating the tracker and ask your team to review it before any company-wide or whole-team meetings.

If you are not achieving your metrics, start problem-solving right away! You can do a brainstorming session or a SWOT analysis and change them if needed. You might find that your metrics were too big and you need to divide them into even smaller pieces, or that they were also easy to achieve. Some metrics might even scale down, which means that several people or departments are responsible for a % of the whole metric. Choosing the wrong metric is why your team needs to be part of the decision-making process, so if you kept the group small until this part, get more folks to join the discussion now.


If you are not achieving your metrics, start problem-solving right away! You can do a brainstorming session or a SWOT analysis and change them if needed.

#9. Clarify who is responsible for the work.

Before you print the final strategic plan, you want to take a last look at the plan as a whole. If you were to create a diagram, it should look like a house or triangle with your vision on top and your KPIs at the bottom. Review your plan to see if the goals are attainable in a year with the resources you currently have, make a list of what you need to achieve it, and think about what you have done (or spend money on) this year and what needs to be tossed.


PRO-TIP: Some common areas you might deprioritize with your new strategic plan are software, monthly memberships, gifts, contractors, social media, and printing. Identify how the project and KPIs connect and where you can save or invest. You might want to streamline your client onboarding process and know where your money is going every month, so a CRM that also offers bookkeeping and connects to Paypal might be a better investment than having an admin do this work manually.

You might also find opportunities to automate your processes, document your operating procedures (a must when growing your team and staff), or sell some of your most valuable training as a course.


If at this point your plan seems like too much (or too little), get the help of an expert. You can book an advising and brainstorming session with our team here.


#10. Communicate and celebrate.

Is a strategic plan real if no one can see it? NO! Your plan should not be a secret, and you want to share it with your team, partners, contractors, and even your clients. One way to do this is to create a section in your About Us or Company Overview page with high-level information on your yearly priorities. You should also hold a meeting to discuss with your staff and your governing or advisory board.

PRO-TIP: If you are struggling with finding ways to share your strategic plan, write a blog post or LinkedIn article, and share the link with your clients. Let them know why you chose those priorities and what projects, programs, initiatives, or services they can get excited about. The final goal is to build customer loyalty, and you can only do that when you are transparent about where you want to take your business.

Identify a way to celebrate, whether it is disconnecting from social media for a day or throwing yourself and your team a big party. Your strategic plan sets the tone for the year, and now it's time to work!


Read part 1 to learn how to create your strategic planning team, find and collect data, analyze what you have learned from your business, and identify your focus areas.


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Paulette Piñero is the owner of LEAD Media LLC, a leadership coaching and management consulting firm that helps professionals of color get the confidence and skills they need to take the next step in their careers.



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