Thinking Strategically

Thinking Strategically

It’s a flat out myth that strategic planning services in Minneapolis need to be complicated, lengthy, and painful. In my experience, much of what is taught in business school is written for big companies. I like to think about strategic planning from a practical perspective. For example, is there a document (2-4 pages) I can use right away, keep in my desk drawer and quickly look at once a week to keep focused?” As a former small company CEO/Owner, (doing almost every job myself in early days of the company,) I was very much concerned about the future, but some days not as much as keeping our biggest customer happy for that day!

What small companies need first and foremost is a simple plan with culture of communication and flexibility. As my company grew, I would ask myself and my key staff every the month these 5 important questions:

  • What are we doing right?
  • What are we not doing right?
  • What do we need to stop doing?
  • What do we need to start doing?
  • Where are we confused?


As long as people felt empowered to provide honest feedback, it was amazing how we kept adjusting and growing. Granted, there are times when it is appropriate to spend some conference room time to go more in-depth on specific issues and I heartily endorse that. But don’t get tricked that lengthy strategic planning services, put on the shelf, will run your small business. It is the monthly truth telling, adjustments and superb execution that will show you your way forward.

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About the Author

Eric Gustafson delivers results. Over the past two decades, Eric has quietly become a go-to authority for helping owners to elevate their small businesses in the Twin Cities… Read full bio >

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