It’s easy to get caught up in the overwhelming process while doing a business and get diverted from your business vision.
To avoid such an off-track journey in business growth you need a clear strategic plan. A strategic plan is an organized overview of the aims and goals your business claim to achieve in its development.
In this post, we will see the strategic planning process which helps to define a company's objectives and identify adjustments that you might need to make to reach your goal.
What is Strategic Planning?
Strategic planning became popular among business owners because it assisted to align the companies’ priorities and goals by establishing agreements for great outcomes and results.
You can design strategic planning for the long term, and the process to make it can vary according to the goals, as can the final plan itself.
Ideally, strategic planning is drafted as a document, a presentation, or a report that sets out an exact blueprint for the company's progress.
Strategic planning assists your company to progress in your desired direction by getting input from all your employees who strengthen it with their beneficial opinions and building a consensus.
Your company can channel its energy and resources to the common goal set in strategic planning and move towards success.
Why is Strategic Planning Important?
In today's fast-growing technological age, a strategic plan assists businesses to move towards progress. It helps the companies to thrive by garnering all the efforts with a clear focus to make the organization more efficient and boosting productivity.
Strategic plan aids in getting all your team members on the same page which is beneficial for a company.
An Effective Plan will unite all the staff around a common vision and drive them to achieve more. In addition, you can build loyal teams and bridge gaps between the company members.
Strategic plans also offer a working mechanism to measure success and the amount of progress toward goals, which keeps employees to stay motivated and helps them focus more on the tasks at hand.
When is the Accurate Time to start Strategic Planning?
There is no set time to start strategic planning. It depends entirely on the particular company’s mission and the external factors that surround it. However, there are a few suggestions about when to plan:
- If your industry is drastically changing in a short period of time.
- At the start of any major new initiative in your company.
- If regulations and laws in your industry are under modification.
Under these circumstances, you can draw up a strategic plan to make it more effective.
You don’t need to re-create the entire planning process every single time when there is a certain change in your industry but it is important to check your plan at a regular interval of time and make sure it is still working. If not, you definitely need to update it.
How to do Strategic Planning?
Strategic planning is key is to make sure you allow enough time to complete the work without crossing the deadlines, but not begin too early as you can lose momentum and focus.
The strategic planning process itself can be more significant than the final document due to the valuable opinions that comes out of the discussions with management, as well as all level workers.
At the initial process, establish some strict guidelines about who will be involved in this and what will be expected from them. Everyone indulged must be eager to cooperate for the welfare of your company.
If you are not sure about whether or not to include anyone, it is usually better to bring on more people than to leave someone out, only to find out later they should have been a part of the process all along.
Be clear that not everyone will be involved in the entire process at times people will come and go during different phases of planning. You have to know about the important elements to kick start the planning process.
A goal is outcome-oriented but without specific targets. The development of a company’s goals is one of the most important aspects of the planning process because goals decide the course of the company and help the company to achieve its mission and vision.
The goal should be customer-focused and have the intentions attain clearly defined actions.
Goals should have the following attributes to be effective:
- Be straightforward and easily understood by the public.
- It should have certain measurable outcomes.
- It must be formulated to be attainable rather than a fantasy.
- It would have high relevance to the progressive path.
- It should align with the vision and priorities of the Administration.
2. Mission Statement
The mission statement is the common thread that explains your company’s basic purpose and concisely identifies what the company does, why, and for whom.
Mission statements serves the purpose by helping the employees to remain focus on the tasks at hand, and motivates them to find innovative ways of moving toward increasing their productivity with the determination to achieving company goals.
A company’s mission statement defines its basics such as goals, vision, culture, and objectives. It explains how each of these applies to the company's stakeholders its employees, distributors, suppliers, shareholders, and the community at large. These entities can use this mission statement to adhere to their goals with that of the company.
The statement explains what the company does, how it does it, and why it does it to the clients. Potential investors may also refer to the mission statement to see if the values of the company align with theirs.
Every strategic planning cycle should utilize its mission statement. It may be necessary to develop a new mission statement for the changing times but the company should stick to make moderate revisions since mission statements often remain appropriate for a long span of time.
3. Create a timeline
You are bound to work out a timeline in which you can complete your strategic plan and move to the next steps. Reasonable is the main prospect as that depends on your company's maturity level regarding strategic planning.
Make sure your team knows the difference between strategy and tactics while going forward! Sometimes it is smart to keep flexible timelines to avoid lagging behind in any circumstances.
Different Methods of Planning
There are many different methods to apply for the strategic planning process. Below are the three most popular approaches for your reference:
1. Mission-Based Planning
This method initiates with looking at your company's mission and goals. It concentrates on focusing work towards your mission and figuring out strategies to meet the deadlines for reaching certain milestones.
2. Problems Based Planning
In this method, you can start by going through the problems the company is facing, and then decide to address them by actions to implement for getting out of it.
3. Organic Planning
This method is more fluid and begins with the mission and its values then outline the plans to achieve that vision while never neglecting the standards.
Strategic planning remains consistent and relevant over a long span of time and offers substantial guidance for carrying out individual responsibilities.
They effectively automate the internal and external works, business conduct, and day-to-day operations. It should be integrated into all levels and functions of the company to influence the moral compass, and help employees make tough decisions.
After your strategic plan is finalized and approved, it should be visible throughout your company and make an affirmative announcement from the management on a continuous basis. You can achieve your desired goal at your own pace of time.