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10 Steps Strategic Planning Process for SMB

Gather your team

Take a half day or a full day. Include employees from all key areas. Take turns leading the session.

Do SWOT Analysis

4 pieces of large paper. Brainstorm actively – Everyone talk!


Strengths: Marketing messages
Weakness: Things to work on

External: Opportunities: How to pursue?
Threats: How to avoid?

Look at competitors

Website, print materials, social media. Ask friends and customers for perceptions of their strengths and weaknesses. How can you differentiate? Any products or services they offer that you need to add?

Look at your markets

How are they changing? Where can you sell deeper? What are customers asking for? How can you communicate with? Any market specific opportunities or threats?

Ask your employees

What would make your job easier? What are the top issues you keep running into? What do you think we need to do to get to the next level?

Ask your customers

What can we do better? What services or products do you wish we could offer? (Leader and sales team should do this step)

Identify your big rocks

What are the top 3 – 5 things you will work on this year that will take your business to the next level? Write these down.

List tasks for each big rock

This is what we need to do to move each big rock. Write down, assign deadlines and who is responsible for each.

Meet regularly to work on and report progress

Weekly or monthly depending on the task, with whichever employees are responsible for each task.

Keep repeating every year

Source from Red Sage Communications Inc.

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