Philie Group Blog

Strategy Planning on a Note Card
By Mike Philie

This blog originally published in Printing Impressions


As many print businesses thrive, expand their services, and continue to look for that next big thing, a reminder that strategy planning remains an important part of integrating that new initiative into your existing offering. I’m a big believer in business planning as the days of build it and they will come, are likely behind us. I’m also a believer in having an executable plan.


So what is an executable plan? Simply, having a plan that you can, and will, actually execute. After years of helping companies with strategic plans and getting their teams around the idea of having this report (usually in a nice binder), be the answer to all their issues over the next one, three, or five years, I’ve come to the conclusion that while going through that process is important, it should not end there. Too often the end result is a carefully worded multi-page document with charts, graphs, and spreadsheets that ends up collecting dust on a bookshelf.


Taking the next steps to make your plan executable involves the hard work of simplifying it. Coming from the belief that it’s easy to get your point across in a 10-page report, but much harder to convey that same message in one or two pages, taking your plan and distilling it down so that it fits onto a 3×5˝ notecard can be a powerful and meaningful exercise. The message on that note card will be much easier to convey to the folks in your business, and I think that by getting more people onboard with the plan, the chances of you successfully executing on your plan dramatically improve.


I’ve written in the past that strategy planning often takes a knock with small- to medium-sized business, especially in a transformative industry. If you haven’t taken the time to effectively articulate your strategy so that everyone can get on board, now might be the time to make the time to get this done. Get your team together and talk about the things that will make a positive impact on your clients and make it easier for them to do business with you. Identify your competitive advantages and communicate it to your entire staff and to the marketplace. Start today! Let me know how you’re doing and remember, doing nothing is not an option.


Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at, LinkedIn or email at


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