By Vanessa Lindeberg
Create a Shovel-Ready Strategic Plan

Originally sent out April 2, 2009

Stimulus money. It’s the talk of everyone in business right now. With the US Government’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, hundreds of billions of dollars are being allocated towards tax cuts and investments into the nation’s infrastructure.  Industries like energy and housing will see large amounts of stimulus aid, intended to create jobs and infrastructure that will help pull the nation out of economic distress and prepare us to compete in the future.

With all of this money being allocated, distribution will go to those ready for it. The buzz phrase that many are using for such projects is “Shovel-Ready,” meaning something that is strategic, has been planned and thought through, and where the resources are all ready to move but still in need of funding.

Which brings us to the question, how Shovel Ready is your business?

As many energy-related start ups and established organizations all vie for stimulus funding, many are finding that they need to scramble to meet the requirements to apply for funding. They may have good ideas and great intentions, but grant submission is a formal process and the government must takes steps to ensure those receiving money will be accountable.

For this reason, these companies have to submit applications that detail how they will use the money, including such things as their strategic plans. If you’re an organization without a plan, it will be impossible to compete for the money. It’s one thing to hatch an idea, but it’s another to work through how it will become a reality.

Would you be ready for stimulus money? How would your organization handle a large infusion of money?

It’s a sobering thing to think of what a small business would do with, say, a few million dollars. That’s a a few million extra things to be accountable for.

  • How would your vision change if you got 30 million dollars?
  • Would your mission remain the same? Would it expand?
  • Could your current infrastructure grow or break?
  • What new positions would you need filled?
  • With the stimulus act’s focus on job creation, would you be able to find the staff you needed?
  • Could your current vendors/suppliers handle the increase in demand?
  • How would this change your distribution channels?
  • Could you manage such a huge change in your organization, or would such a thing be too overwhelming?

For existing organizations within industries receiving money, these are issues they will need to tackle, and do it fast. Some will be able to make the case for stimulus money, and some won’t be ready in time.

For those who are competing for stimulus money, MyStategicPlan has prepared a special discount plan for only $125 that includes the following:

  • An award-winning online system for developing your fully customizable, quick strategic plan that you can edit online
  • Special weekly webinars hosted by Erica Olsen, author of Strategic Planning For Dummies to answer any and all of your questions and help you develop a winning strategic plan.
  • How-to tutorials, videos and articles to guide your plan development An immediately downloadable plan that you can add to your grant proposal or any Word Document!

Need more help getting Shovel Ready? You may like these other articles from MSP’s resource library.

Structured strategic planning isn’t just something more to do; it’s a better way of doing something already being done.

Vanessa Lindeberg