Setting The Foundation To Freedom

quoteAre you ready to take the first and most important step in creating a business that is more productive and less of a hassle? If you are, then today you will learn this first step, creating your Strategic Objectives Document. Of the three documents that we will cover, the Strategic Objective Document will be the most important. It gives direction and clarity, and keeps you away from making flippant decisions that will haunt you for a lifetime. It is also the foundation for the General Operating Principles and Working Procedures documents, which means that we must take this step first.

What Is The Goal In Creating This?

The simple “goal” of the Strategic Objective document is to define the purpose and direction of the company, and in turn make every decision based on this set purpose and goal. There is no reason to make this longer than it should be, (1 page) and it needs to be easy to read and understand for every employee in your business. For example, in the crane service that I alluded to in a previous post, this is the first sentence in the Strategic Objective document: “At X Crane Service, we are servants to our customers, and because of this we are the highest quality residential crane company in the areas we operate.” Every decision they make stems from this and the following sentences in the Strategic Objectives document.
Before we dive in any further, I do want to be clear on the fact that this is not a feel good mission statement that is created to make you feel like you’ve done something and appease the board that is waiting on this. This is a one-page blueprint that you and the rest of your employees will be putting into practice on a daily basis in the real world. It is a one page narration of the “what, how, and why” of your business. Most business owners can quickly answer the “what,” but rarely can they answer the “how” or “why.”

So How Do I Create This Document, And What Should It Look Like?

I will start out by showing you (once again) the Strategic Objectives document that we created for X Crane Company:

10 Ingredients To YOUR Strategic Objectives Document

1. Narration. See Crane sample (and feel free to copy all or part of it). Give an overview of the reason for the Strategic Objective, state overall what it is and why it is important.

2. Begin the Strategic Objective and be concise, one or two sentences will, in most cases, suffice. Start by stating exactly what the overall goal is. Avoid feel-good generalities (here, and throughout your Strategic Objective) such as “We want to be the best!” Can you be the best in your field or in your region? You know this already: Almost always, having the highest quality of product and/or level of service is the easy ticket to long-term success. As an aside, you will need to be able to objectively measure this expertise somehow.

strategy3. What is the fundamental strategy? I recommend you state that reaching company goals will be accomplished by making the systems of the company the day-to-day focus. Point out that the three documents are the guiding principles in the moment and in the long term. If you think it is important, in order to stimulate the acceptance of the new mindset, state that you do not focus on fixing problems. You focus on perfecting systems that will prevent problems in the first place.

4. Here, at the beginning, say that you have three guiding documents. List them.

5. Define exactly what you do. What exactly is it that you sell or provide? If necessary add geographical region in which you do this. Are there other objective constraints or limitations?

6. Flesh-out your systems thrust by stating that the people, systems and guiding/supporting documentation will be the focus. Say that by having a clear path supported by enthusiastic people who know exactly what is expected of them, goals will be met and customers will be happy. Add other attributes that you feel are critical. You may need a full paragraph in order to be thorough. You will tweak this over time in order to get it right.

7. What are your competitive advantages? This could be a relatively long list.

8. State your special efficiencies or other outstanding advantages? Is there some unique sales positioning or other unique attribute that you have?

9. Again state the importance of procedural documentation and that it must be followed exactly. Then – this is important – temper that statement by stating that procedure documentation will be changed instantly if it can be improved and that anyone can solicit a change (“…a rigid steel structure that can be instantly adjusted.”). You will define in a Working Procedure exactly how this will work.

stock-photo-9409113-hand-drawing-blank-organization-chart10. Describe briefly your organizational layout and, generally, how the organization is put together. You will back this up with a Working Procedure showing your organizational chart.

11. Describe in detail other points that you feel are important enough to be here at the very end of THE master document of your business, the Strategic Objective.

There you have it! You are well on your way to creating leverage and subsequently MORE FREEDOM in your business. We have two other documents to get through, but you will want to think through this one thoroughly and take some time to finish it, because it is your building block to all other documents.

If you get stuck with this or find that you have questions, please email me at [email protected]

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