What to include in Your Strategic Business Plan for 2024

by | Jan 19, 2024 | Blog, Business Planning, Goal Setting, How to Clone Yourself, How to Clone Yourself, Make More Work Less, Marketing, Planning, Strategy, Success, Team Building

Expecting business growth without a strategic plan is like playing chess without knowing the rules – you might make moves, but winning becomes more about luck than strategy.

Let's checkmate uncertainty with a well-thought-out plan.

My family has been playing a lot of chess lately so I can absolutely confirm this fact! If I knew more rules and had a strategy I’d have a better chance of winning. My kids,  my husband – they all have a plan when they go into the game and they have a strategy in mind when come after my pieces. 

The same thinking applies to your strategic plan for your business. In fact, aside from all the fun analogies I could think up – Embarking on your business journey without a strategic plan is like trying to assemble furniture without instructions, and Diving headfirst into business growth without a strategic plan is like attempting a dance routine without knowing the step, etc… 😉 

There is a lot of research that shows businesses with a plan: 

  • Grow faster
  • Have happier, higher-performing teams
  • Take less time to implement

A strategic plan can be built at any time Mid-year and year-end/the new year are especially good times to build, freshen up, and check in on your strategic plan. Realistically, I’d carve out 2 days to build the strategic plan all at once. 

Follow along in this post to see what you need to include in your annual strategic plan and for insights on how to navigate each step.

Define Your Values

Values Defined:


Knowing your values will help you in unexpected ways in your business.

If you aren’t already, you may be pulled in a million directions as your business grows. Your values will help you stay true to who you are and to your focus for the year. Values will help you hire people who are aligned with the way you and your company show up internally and externally. Values define culture. Clearly defined values support your branding efforts and will come through as you serve your clients when you create your offers, how you do marketing, and how you reply to people in your customer service channels. My values most certainly align with my key differentiators in the marketplace as well. 

To start to narrow down your values, ask yourself what matters to you. Make a list of those things and if you have too much work to prioritize identify 10 or fewer values that represent you and your company. 

Often people ask, are my personal values the same as my business values? Often times your personal values will align with your business values because you are not separate from your business, your work, or your career.

Clarify Your Vision

To get clear on where you are going in your business, it is important to take time to outline your vision. Not having a vision for your business is like taking a trip without knowing where you are going – you might never reach your destination. Yes, yes, there is a slight chance you might in fact reach the right destination, but your odds increase by 33-66% – the research varies – if you write it down, share it, and burn it into your brain. Let’s face it, if you don't know where you are going, how can you possibly create systems that will help you get there. Without a strong vision, it is next to impossible to communicate with, engage, and rally a team and a community to help you reach your end state.

Before you create your vision consider, what you want your company to look like in these areas:

Client Success: 

Who do we serve? What problems do we solve? With what products? How many people do we serve? At what price?

Organization Structure

Who is on your team? How do they show up for clients? How do you reward and love your clients? What cultural elements differentiate your team?

Results & Impact

What vision do you hold for the revenue or profitability of your company? What social causes do you support and impact through your business? Are there any specific KPIs you want to consider?

Operational Excellence

How do you deliver your products and services with excellence? Where will you source your products and services? How do you do things differently or more efficiently? What will your organization do or not do to deliver results?

Purpose Filled

What purpose does your business have? Why does your company exist? Why does it matter? When will your company reach its vision?

Next up you can use this fill-in-the-blank vision template to finalize your vision for the year ahead –


__{Insert name of your company}____ creates __{Insert name what you create – hint, if you are a computer maker you don’t create computers – what’s your higher purpose}____ for people to __{What do you want your customers to achieve as a result}____.

To accomplish this goal, we will never __{what will you never do}____.

__{Insert name of your company}____ will __{Insert list of things you will do to ensure your higher purpose is realized}____.

Create Your Revenue/Profit Plan

Building a revenue plan helps businesses grow faster than those who skip this step. It’s not because you sat down and put all of your numbers in a spreadsheet either. It’s because when you create a revenue (and profit) plan you get intentional about where you are going and how you will get there, much like your vision.

While money is one of the things people tend to avoid talking about, this is something you want to start to embrace as we step into a new year. 

Do you look at your financials regularly?

When you consider how your company is doing, are you comfortable looking at your numbers?

Do you understand profitability and how to forecast how much money your business will make this year?

Do you have a clear sense of how much you can pay yourself?

It’s okay if the answer is no. You are certainly not alone. 

Take the first step to reviewing your numbers throughout the year, but building a revenue and profit plan that charts your course for the year ahead.

Start to See How Much Money You Will Make

To simply begin to build your revenue plan consider:

  • How much you will charge for your product or service
  • x How many items/units/services you will sell
  • Multiply the above to items and you’ll get to your revenue target for one product or service

Do this for each product line you have or service you offer to get to your overall revenue target.

If you run a product-based business with many skews, you may want to do this at the category level to start.


Then Explore How Much Money You Will Profit

In addition to building a revenue plan, you’ll want to consider your expenses. Subtract your expenses from your revenue to see your expected profit.

Revenue – Expenses = Profit

Include your Goal for the Year

After you map out your revenue plan and your sales and marketing plan, set your goal for the year. 

I recommend you set your goal for the year and keep it in front of you all year long so you don’t have a chance to forget where you want to be going when the inevitable challenges arise. Include these 4 key components: 

  1. What are you working towards?
  2. What is the financial target associated with this goal?
  3. What is your timeline to meet this goal?
  4. What will you do to deliver value in exchange for the financial reward? (i.e., what will you give to receive)

Note: if your specific goal doesn't have a monetary target associated with it, you can choose another key performance measure. The point is to be able to track your progress so that you know that you're still on track. We call the documented goal a Goal Card and this process includes more than just writing down a vague goal and hoping that it will inspire you. What I want you to do is really figure out what your goal means and what it will encompass for you to get there. See a sample goal card in our private community “The Planathon with Amber McCue.”

Sales & Marketing Plan

A comprehensive sales and marketing plan will include considerations of return on investment, messaging, ideal client profiles, and so much more. We walk through this holistically with our clients. 

Very simply, however, a marketing plan needs to include: 

What you will say and who you will speak to where and when to introduce them to your products/services and invite them into your world with the ultimate goal of the right people finding you to make a buying decision

What: Your marketing message

Who: Client profile

Where: Your marketing channel (i.e., social media, email, advertising, etc.) 

When: What is the schedule for these marketing campaigns?

I’ve left out marketing speak here so as to not overwhelm or confuse, but simply put marketing is how you connect with people on a one-to-many basis and how people learn about what your company can do for them.

KPIs or measures of success

How can you play a game if you don’t have rules or a defined way of winning?

It’s pretty hard to win a game if you haven’t defined what it means to win.

It’s the same thing in our business, without a clear definition of success, it’s hard to win the game.

When you set KPIs you are simply defining what it means to “win” or “measures of success.” 

When you worked on your goal and your revenue plan earlier, you started working on your measures of success. That is, you set a goal for the year and that is a goal that at year-end we’ll be able to say we met it! (or we did not meet and we’ll learn from that and adjust the course as needed). 


plural noun: key performance indicators

  1. a quantifiable measure used to evaluate the success of an organization, employee, etc. in meeting objectives for performance.

source: google

Your unique industry, marketing strategy of choice, and even a specific department or team within your organization may have unique key performance indicators. All KPIs tie back to the goals you set for your business.

Other considerations to make sure your KPI is a good one are to ensure:

  • Your KPIs can be easily quantified in a timely and accurate way
  • You or your team member can influence the KPI – if it is out of your control, consider another metric
  • The KPI is connected to your overall strategy – set one to two KPIs per strategic priority
  • It is simple to understand the KPI
  • The KPIs will be relevant in the future

Examples of KPIs that companies look at are:

  • Profit
  • Revenue
  • Customer satisfaction

If you have employees you may also look at:

  • Employee satisfaction
  • Turnover

You will also want to track specific metrics for your sales and marketing tactics, which we review in detail in the $1M Marketing Plan.

For example, if you run launch-style marketing campaigns you may also look at:

  • Leads in
  • Number of conversions or customers who bought
  • Total sales generated from the launch/marketing campaign
  • Earnings per lead

As you choose the KPIs for your company for the year ahead, don’t choose too many. If you are measuring everything, everything becomes the most important resulting in nothing being the most important. Prioritize and see growth come easier.

Each person on the team should know what KPIs they are expected to impact and how their role is measured.

Employee roles (including measures of success for each role)

Finally, consider who you will need to work with to bring the goals you have outlined in your strategic plan to life. 

If you already have a team, it’s time to start looking at who will do what on the team and what their measures of success are.

If you are running solo right now or looking for new team members, identify what needs to be done, who or what expertise is needed to accomplish the goal, and what level of expertise is needed.

I also recommend setting up an org chart, even if you are the only team member. A simple org chart provides clarity on who is doing what and helps you quickly and simply identify overlap of responsibility.

Action Plan

A plan is a wonderful thing. There is a lot of research on top of case studies and anecdotal data that shows when you have a plan you are more likely to reach your goals, you’ll reach your goals faster, and you’ll spend less time implementing because you took the time to map out the plan first. 

For that reason, before you finish the strategic planning process for your business, consider taking a moment to map out your action plans with a Strategic Roadmap and a 90 Day Plan: 

Strategic Roadmap: 12-month plan that maps out what key activities or milestones you will reach each month throughout the year. Having a birds-eye view helps you know that all of your important projects have a time and place in the year ahead. In addition, it helps you see if you have too much on your calendar so you can move things around in advance. Overwhelm will naturally creep in, we might as well help reduce the overwhelm in advance when we can.

90-Day Plan: What needs to be accomplished over the next 90 days to reach your goals in the next 12 months? We don’t recommend fully detailing your plans for the full 12 months because things change, you’ll learn as you go, and you’ll have more clarity as you get closer to the point of implementation. Plus, 90-day plans allow you the opportunity to reset more readily as you. It’s more agile and less time is spent “wasted” planning or procrastiplanning, and you’ll be able to get in action sooner with a very strong plan.

Bringing Your Strategic Plan to Life

Finally, to ensure your plans get the attention they need to come into reality throughout the year, high-performing business owners and leaders have regular checkpoints throughout the year to ensure we are on track to reach your goals. Add these important checkpoints to your calendar: 

  • Annual Planning 
  • Mid Year Review
  • Quarterly Planning Sessions
  • Monthly Game Plan
  • Weekly Monday + Friday Modern CEO Time

Hi, I’m amber!

Eternal optimist, lover of dance parties, here to get more of you in the world and help you grow your dream business.

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