The Need

In the past few years, the Indiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), which houses the Indiana SBDC, went through significant changes in response to COVID-19. As part of this strategic planning project, the Indiana SBDC sought to capitalize on these changes, focus resources, and meet the requirements of its national accreditation.

Small businesses in the U.S. play a crucial role in the overall economy and workforce. In Indiana, 99.4% of businesses are considered small businesses based on the definition of a business with less than 500 employees.

Over the past five years, Indiana SBDC has seen a steady increase in new clients served and clients assisted. They needed to create a new strategic plan that not only met their accreditation requirements but also was responsive to the growing and dynamic needs of small businesses across the state. In addition, they wanted to ensure consensus and alignment of the strategic plan with their ten regional offices.

The Solution

TCG completed a comprehensive needs assessment and facilitated a strategic planning retreat with Lead Center staff and Regional Directors to align the vision of the Indiana SBDC, and determine top goals, strategies, and a timeline for achieving those goals over the next five years. TCG gathered publicly available data to review the makeup of small businesses, the current state of small businesses, and growth projections. TCG also collected stakeholder feedback from several key stakeholders, including Regional Directors, their Advisory Board, their contracted Host Partners, and Indiana small businesses. 

We took all of this information and created an “Organizational Analysis and Needs Assessment” data brief that was shared with the planning retreat team to review in advance of the retreat. Then we facilitated an interactive and engaging planning retreat that resulted in consensus on their vision and mission statements, goals and strategies, and a timeline over the next five years. TCG created a public-facing one-page overview of the strategic plan and a more detailed strategic plan that included an implementation project plan. Lastly, TCG created a communication plan to help support the dissemination and promotion of the strategic plan internally with its staff and partners and externally with its small business customers.


  1. Organizational Analysis and Needs Assessment Data Brief
  2. Stakeholder Engagement Tools 
  3. New Strategic Plan, 
  4. 1-page Overview of the Strategic Plan 
  5. Communication Plan

More Resources

For an overview of our 4-step strategic planning process, check out this blog! Do a deep dive into each step with the blogs below:

Step 1: Collaborate

Step 2: Analyze

Step 3: Facilitate

Step 4: Create