Are you contemplating a business strategy for your company but unsure where to begin? Or maybe you’re avoiding long-term strategic planning because of the technicalities involved.
You’re not the only one. Numerous business owners are unsure about what strategy to pursue in the long term. Beyond that, a Harvard business review study reveals that 95 percent of employees are unaware of or do not understand a company’s strategy! Few small businesses and entrepreneurs devote the time to strategic planning. Let’s kick the corporate stigma and discuss how strategic planning can benefit your business.
Spoiler alert: There’s a reason strategic planning might feel too corporate – it’s an effective step to achieving your goals!
Importance of Strategic Planning
As a written document, a strategic plan outlines your company’s future goals. It lays out the objectives of your business and justifies their significance. The practice of operating with a strategy can improve your performance.
- A strategy can give you ideas on how to structure the business to reach its full potential.
- A carefully designed strategic plan will let you cater to opportunities and adapt to challenges of every color, shape, and size as your firm expands.
- Strategic planning involves new product development, expanding operations, entering new markets, and resolving organizational issues.
Create Your Strategic Plan in 5 Steps
The strategy development process is extensive; it facilitates the creation of a road map for the strategic goals you will strive to accomplish and helps to identify the efforts that are less beneficial to the company.
1. Establish Your Strategic Position
It’s crucial to examine critical measures that will help you understand and position your business for success before diving into a plan. Lay the groundwork for all subsequent work during this preparation stage. Understand your current position in order to determine the future direction.
Converse with business partners or mentors early on while considering other internal and external sources. Pinpoint essential strategic targets and concerns. Utilize customer insights and gather market or industry statistics for further awareness. This will help you understand where your business stands in the industry and provide you with helpful insights and intelligence before setting your plan of action.
Drop us a note at Simply Hudson if you want an extra hand!
Tip: You can use a SWOT diagram as a foundation for your preliminary evaluation!
2. Set Your Goals By Priority
After determining your position in the market, it’s time to develop targets and goals that will allow you to get there. Your goals should align with your firm’s purpose and vision.
Determine your goals by asking questions like:
- Which activities will have the biggest influence on realizing the business mission and objectives?
- What actions will strengthen our position in the market?
- Which impacts, such as client acquisition vs. revenue, are the most crucial?
- How do these activities align to company values?
- Which projects require the highest urgency, time, or other resources (such as dollar investment)?
- How will we gauge success to understand if objectives are met?
Company objectives should be clear and measurable to assist you in achieving your long-term strategic goals.
Tip: Use the SMART goals framework to crosscheck your goals!
3. Design a Plan
Up next, it’s time to develop a strategic plan to meet your objectives. Now that you’ve created and prioritized your goals, design your plan of action for how they will be accomplished. Consider any interdependencies, seasonal capacity, and any other factors that will help determine a timeline. Contemplate roles and responsibilities to ensure available capacity and be sure to space projects out over time. Don’t try to tackle everything at once!
If you’re looking to visualize the links between your objectives and goals, try out strategy mapping. Strategy maps are simple to develop, help decipher interdependencies and provide a simple visual reminder of your goals.
Book your strategic planning program to design your strategic business plan today!
Not quite ready for live support? Get our strategic planning worksheet for self-guided development!
4. Implement and Oversee Your Strategy
You are now prepared to put your strategy into action! First, share pertinent documents with any business partners and team members to ensure awareness and buy-in. Everyone needs to be on the same page before the actual job starts.
What gets measured gets done.
– Peter Drucker
Determine how you will track and monitor your strategy. You can use dashboards and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track progress against your goals. Think about whether to map out your processes to identify the best metrics – and don’t forget, we can help with that!
At Simply Hudson, we know how challenging it can be to take the time for mapping processes or tracking metrics consistently when you’ve got a lot on your plate. You’re running a business after all! However, taking the time on a monthly or quarterly basis will ensure you’re aligned to your plan and help you stay on track.
Note: The systematic approach to process mapping & KPI development will clarify who is responsible for each completion stage and ownership!
5. Evaluate and Revise The Strategy
Finally, reviewing and revising your plan provides the opportunity to examine your priorities and make course corrections based on earlier successes or failures.
Evaluate your KPIs to see what you and your team have achieved quarterly and discuss how you can maintain forward momentum, modifying your strategy as required. Follow your progress with scorecards to fully comprehend your company’s success and carry out your key goals.
To ensure you stay on plan for long-term success, it’s crucial to reassess your goals and strategic position every year. Your goal and vision will likely evolve over time. An annual evaluation is an excellent opportunity to think about these changes, create a new strategy, and re-implement them.
How far you’ve come in a year provides excellent motivation to carry you into the future!
Mastering the Strategic Planning Process
“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals; adjust the action steps.”
Even if it sounds too corporate for your liking, it’s important to note that strategic planning is the competitive edge you need to survive in any industry. As you progress towards the end of the process, repeating steps regularly, you will notice quantifiable progress through numbers achieving your KPIs.
Follow your strategic planning thoroughly so your business maintains a long-term perspective and keeps your head in the game. However, if you’re having difficulty developing a business strategy, reach out today, and we’ll figure it out together!
We’d love to work with you!
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We’d love to help you overcome any work challenge you’re facing! Contact us to set up a free consultation to discuss how we can help.