Strategic planning is a coordinated and systematic process of creating a plan for the overall management of a company and allocating resources to optimize future potential. Many companies start with an idea and a desire to be prosperous. Sometimes it works, but more often, it doesn’t. The two reasons are not unrelated, especially in tight financial times. After all, if you don’t invest in an excellent business strategy, such as using pomodoro method, why do you expect anyone else to put money into your business? Planning is more than just a team-building exercise, but among the benefits of using the comprehensive planning process described below is the creation of a good, cohesive management team.
Understand Your Business Orient Participants
Build a shared understanding of the preparation process and framework that provides a vision for your organization. This step defines the big picture of the process and explores options for fully building unique parts of the process. All of the participants in your planning team should come from the functional units of your company. This way, they can offer a different point of view based on their specialty. The end goal of these owners is a key factor in the strategy.
Review Your Goals
Set the starting point and explore options that add value to your current plan. If you are unsure of your position, it will be difficult for you to define your leadership. With a three-question customer-centric exercise, I define your current business and look ahead to the next 12 months. Defining your business from the customer’s perspective can make all the difference in your success. Although tactical goals often take longer, having a great strategy for the next year is essential to gaining confidence in a three- or four-year program.
Design Your Situational Analysis
Identify your market. Instead of dealing with large, broad markets, determine your specialty and turn it into a competitive advantage. You should perform a reliable and truthful SWOT analysis when you are trying to consider your capabilities. Start by analyzing all of your core competencies as the strengths, how important each competency to your customer base is, and finally, identifying and analyzing your perceived opportunities. Organizing a situation analysis could be an intense task, especially if you are not satisfied with your clientele. If you are dissatisfied, you have an opportunity to find new customers, develop new solutions or products that meet customer needs or perhaps become a statistic. Over the past two decades, we have seen some notable examples of companies that have not responded to changing customer needs and demands and changing government regulations.
Begin Designing Your Strategy
Brainstorming is the next step you should take. Some companies did poorly in a declining market, but others improved and prospered because they had a strategy that responded to change. Small businesses have an advantage over their larger competitors because they can respond more quickly to change and implement new ideas. This step requires attention, but the rewards could be significant. Keep in mind that some of the largest companies have fallen into a recession. Other micro-businesses have proven their worth and been acquired by a larger company.
Set Your Implementation Plan
Define action plans; action without strategy is wrong. Strategy without activity is useless. According to a timetable, actions should be broken down into quantifiable measures and assigned to specific women and men. Your implementation schedule is proof of the basic facts. If it is unrealistic, or if you don’t have the people, resources, or funding, exactly what changes would you make to achieve your goals?