Episode #9 in The Cultivating Business Growth Podcast is focused on tools needed in our 10-Part Introductory Strategic Planning series. 


What we cover in this episode: 

  • 2:00 – #1 tool is people 
  • 8:04 – Industry data for KPIs
  • 11:40 – Financial and non-financial measuring tools
  • 14:20 – Software
  • 17:37 – Processes
  • 19:50 – Vision

#1 Tool is People

We discuss HR in further detail in episode #6, but one of the best tools for your business is your team and the colleagues you surround yourself with. Our HR episode is focused on your team and hiring the right people to help move your business forward.

In addition to your team, mentors and advisors are important to your growth as a business and personally. You have to find someone who you respect. You also want someone who will push and challenge the way that you think and the way that you do business. You’re not looking for a cheerleader in an advisor role. You want someone who will push your boundaries and push you to see new possibilities.


Industry Data for KPIs

There are certain numbers and financial indicators that you can look at within your industry. Your industry standards will be very different as a law firm, than those of a manufacturing company. If you missed episode #8, we dig deeper into KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) as they relate to strategic planning. 

We use it to be a pulse about where you should be and where you could improve. Where do you differentiate? Your industry may be changing as well. 



Financial and Non-financial Measuring Tools?

We referenced some specific KPIs you could be tracking in the show notes for episode #3 and we discuss this topic in further detail during episode #8. There are KPIs that fall under the financial, sales and marketing, H/R and milestone categories. Both financial and non-financial measuring tools are crucial to find opportunities for improvement and you must be incorporating at least 2-3 of these into your strategy to begin making progress and have a real sense of how you’re progressing.

Software Considerations

When it comes to software, please take a look at all of the factors, and don’t let price be your one and only deciding factor. You have to consider things like integration and automation, discussed further in episode #7, your time and current processes, learning curve and implementation. 

If you choose a less expensive or free option, you may dump hours into unnecessary processes to make up for inadequacies that could have been avoided by investing a bit more into your system. The software you choose will likely be used daily and needs to support your business and provide the data you need to make effective management decisions.  



Processes minimize confusion and chaos within your business. It gives you and your team organization and purpose. Processes can safeguard you as the business owner as well and act as a check and balance for sensitive areas of the business.

Processes are also essential to scale your business. As we have said in prior episodes, you are limiting yourself and your business by keeping everything under your control. If you create processes that others can pick up, you can grow more easily without recreating the wheel. 



Understand what your end goal is and employ the right tools to get there. It takes the right mixture of all of the tools available to get you where you ultimately want to go. 

For example, if selling your business is your end goal, you need to be very intentional about that as your retirement plan so you can track the true value of your business and have a strategy to reach the valuation you’re striving to attain before you retire.




There are many tools to think about during your strategic planning session. We highlight some of the most popular and impactful tools to consider, beginning with people. We mentioned it during the HR episode, but people will make or break you. This includes your team, as well as the mentors and advisors you choose. 

Next, we discuss industry data and KPIs, discussing those financial and non-financial KPIs you will need to guide your business effectively. If you would like more information about this, please listen to episode #8

Software considerations are important as you think about what you will need to implement in the coming year to accomplish your goals. Do you need a new system for accounting? What about a CRM (Customer Relationship Management system)?

Processes are another tool that should be hashed out during the strategic planning process. Are your current processes working? Are they scalable? What needs to change? 

This all comes back to your vision. Do all of the tools you use right now serve your business as they should to get you closer to your vision and long-term goals?



Links mentioned in this episode:


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