How to Plan Long-Term in 5-Minute Intervals

Small businesses and start-ups are the backbone of our economy. So why do they fail so often?

For many, the answer is lack of long-term planning.

Devin Lemoine and Eddie Gibbons, Ph. D., of Success Labs, a Baton Rouge-based management consulting firm, delivered an interactive presentation about strategic planning at a recent Tech Park Academy. In the presentation, they explained that long-term planning doesn’t necessarily involve filling out heavy three-ring binders with pounds of paper. Rather, you can make a little time go a long way by focusing on key areas.

For this post, we’ve distilled Devin and Eddie’s actionable advice even further, so that even the busiest of entrepreneurs can think long-term. While extra time spent on long-term planning is almost always well-invested, here’s how you can do it in the shortest windows of time:

Five-Minute Interval #1: Write a quick mission statement.

A mission statement sepearates what you do from what you are. A clear mission statement helps you adapt to change and make decisions faster, among other benefits.

Since the best mission statements are short, you can draft one in less time than say, a market analysis. Here are some examples of great mission statements:

Google: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” 

Microsoft: “To enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.” 

Spotify: To give people access to all the music they want all the time – in a completely legal & accessible way.” 

One way to quickly create a mission statement is write one sentence that summarizes your business as quick as you can. Next, edit it down to only 12 words. Then, edit it even further to 10 words, then again to 6 and 8. Of these final four sentences, pick which one you think is the most memorable and easiest to repeat.

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