As 2017 begins, the new year brings new opportunities, as well as potential new challenges.
In order to make the most of 2017, it’s important to come up with cohesive strategies that will allow you to prepare for the best, as well as the worst.
To support you with this, we’ve created four (free!) mind map strategies. These will help you to plan out your business progression, pre-empt potential problems, preserve collective knowledge, and hopefully, ultimately boost company or organizational growth.
1. Plan a 2017 Roadmap
It’s important that you have a clear vision for your company or organization. It’s equally important that your team are just as clear about these goals too.
To achieve this, try creating a visual roadmap, mapping out your key goals and planned steps onto a strategic mind map. Once you’ve made your mind map, you can share your strategy with employees internally via a shareable link.
We’ve created a strategy template for a SaaS business below. The following template can of course be edited to be made relevant to other business models.
From there, edit or embellish the topics to make the map suitable for your business, covering topics such as:
- What you plan to achieve in each quarter
- Which KPIs you’ll be focusing on (Churn, MRR, CMRR)
- What your financial projections are
- Which resources you require to achieve these goals
- A competitive analysis
We recently held an ‘all hands meeting’ here at MeisterLabs. During the meeting our Founders presented their vision for 2017, talking the team through their roadmap via the MindMeister presentation mode.
The roadmap gave a great overview of company progression. To provide your team with the same direction, make sure to disseminate your roadmap to your team, once created. One recent survey found that on average 74% of employees feel they’re missing out on key company information and news. Ensure your whole team feel in the loop by making your strategy available to all staff, via a cloud-based tool.
2. Brainstorm Your Marketing Strategy
Marketing campaigns and efforts need to be both strategic and timely. In order to get started with your marketing plan for 2017, begin by planning out what you’d like to cover, month by month or quarter by quarter, via a marketing team brainstorm.
Generating ideas while mind mapping has been found to boost creativity by up to 23%. To help come up with the next big idea, spend your next marketing meeting collaborating on a marketing mind map.
Clone the above mind map to use as a template for your own marketing strategy, including topics relevant to your business. These could include:
- Conversion strategies
- Target customers
- Pricing and seasonal offers
- Positioning and PR
- Influencer marketing opportunities
You can also include links to additional resources, such as your editorial calendar or newsletter drip campaign Google Sheet.
We recently held a marketing team brainstorm here at MeisterLabs to come up with new taglines for social media campaigns. Having shared a collaborative mind map before the meeting, we all added our initial ideas and sources of influence e.g. existing campaigns and imagery we liked. We then projected the mind map during the meeting and each added to it in real-time via our laptops, to come up with text we’re all happy with.
This strategy can also be applied to planning growth experiments. As a team, try brainstorming potential growth hacks in the form of small but influential changes to your product, service or website. Once you’ve brainstormed your first growth ideas, follow the tutorial from MeisterLabs’ head of Growth, in order to turn these experiments into actionable tasks, via the MindMeister and MeisterTask integration.
3. Undertake a SWOT Analysis
A vital part of your strategy for 2017 will rely on you first establishing the potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that your business or organization could be facing this year. In order to prepare, begin 2017 with a SWOT analysis via a mind map.
Your SWOT analysis could include potential opportunities, such as which customers you want to be focusing on most and how you plan to tailor your service to these clients. It should also help you to look out for potential problems. Threats and weaknesses might include emerging competitors and existing bottlenecks.
In order to pre-empt and plan for these scenarios, try using the free SWOT analysis template below. Embellish the mind map to ensure you cover the key features, goals, risks and hurdles you expect to face and overcome in 2017.
4. Create a Knowledge Map
Finally, try creating a mind map which will act as a knowledge map for the collective ideas, plans, and knowledge of your team.
LiveBy, the team behind a fast-growing technology tool for real estate companies, are always looking for ways to capture the creative ideas of their team, to then streamline these ideas and decide which are feasible to pursue.
To collate all of their product information, the LiveBy team created one very intricate mind map on MindMeister, listing every feature and sub-feature within their product.
LiveBy’s CEO, Cory Scott, explains:
“It’s a collaborative mind map shared with every team member, so they’re able to login and add their ideas for a new feature or sub-feature straight into the map. New ideas are labeled with a light bulb emoticon so the rest of the team can spot them and provide feedback.
The product mind map acts as both a knowledge map, including all existing company information on the product and a home for new ideas. These ideas can then be discussed within the mind map and followed up in meetings when deciding which ideas to take forward for product improvements or experiments.”
Knowledge management expert, Manel Heredero, explains that it’s vitally important for teams to preserve collective company knowledge as it arises, bit by bit.
By having an incredibly intricate map, where all product ideas can be captured and assessed, your team will be able to preserve these thoughts and decide on which to take forward.
So those are our four mind maps for planning out your business in 2017.
Let us know how you get on or any questions you might have, in the comments below.