Despite looking like one of those tasks without practical application, planning allows the company to organize itself, make the processes more efficient and, thus, obtain a competitive edge. Strategic planning guides companies in decision-making and in the distribution of their resources in the period that follows.
Strategic planning is a job developed by any business, regardless of its size or industry. In the end, just as all companies need to grow and achieve goals, it is also necessary to organize and develop a plan of action that is coherent for both. Here are six steps to effective strategic planning.
Why does your business need strategic planning?
We know that, without planning, it is difficult to achieve the intended objectives. Without this prior organization, the company is lost and does not know where you want to go and much less how to get there. And most of the time, this happens because the company does not understand its culture or its differentials.
Although in the beginning you have done the home lesson and defined the mission and values, it is common to lose them over the years. In this way, seeing the business’s full potential and seeing beyond the obvious to get ahead in the market becomes a rather complex and laborious task.
Strategic planning also helps the company to discover the most appropriate ways to achieve its objectives. Here are six steps to effective strategic planning.
Step 1: Diagnosis
Also known as SWOT analysis, the first step involves looking inside the company and for the market to understand the current moment. That is, this is the time to gather strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Step 2: Organizational identity
For your business to be unique, you need a mission, vision, and values recognized by both the internal and external public. That is precisely why the philosophy of the company is so important and must be taken seriously.
The mission is why your company exists, while the vision is what you aspire to become or where you wish to reach. The values represent the principles that guide the company’s culture and even of the collaborators.
Thus, the organizational identity works as an important guide to hire new people, close contracts with suppliers, and even launch products and services in the market. Therefore, it is essential to reinforce it and ensure that it permeates the entire business.
Those who already have that part of the strategic planning list are worth understanding when it was developed to see the need to revise.
Step 3: Success goals and indicators
Now it’s time to put on paper where the business needs to go and what data will indicate the success of that day. The goals to be achieved must involve the entire organization. Therefore, it may be necessary to create a general goal and then turn it into sales goals, marketing, human resources, etc.
Remember that everyone’s participation is fundamental in strategic planning, so each department should have its goals. An important point here is that the objectives must be challenging and realistic at the same time. Then, nothing of dreaming remarkably high and putting numbers impossible to be reached within the market or the company’s reality.
The indicators will accompany the performance of the goals. In this way, if one of the goals is to conquer a predefined billing, the monthly billing itself will be monitored throughout the months. Finally, make all the collaborators aware of all those goals and indicators. In this way, each one will know its importance and role to reach the desired place.
Step 4: An Action plan
At that point, you and your team will know where the company is, who it is and where it needs to go. Then, it’s time to leave for the action. The action plan achieves the defined goals and objectives viable, based on a schedule and the definition of those responsible.
This means that it is necessary to define what attitudes to take and delegate them to execute them. Having this information documented can be the difference between a successful strategy and a problem, so you should be very attentive to this stage.
As not everything can be a priority, it is essential to organize actions in order of importance. With that, whatever is simpler or urgent must be done first. To help you, think about what actions will make the difference to conquer the objectives and give preference.
Step 5: Monitoring and analysis
As the last stage of strategic planning, it defines a periodicity of meetings so that the areas of the company can meet, present, and discuss the results achieved. Normally, that meeting happens every week, so it is possible to talk about what happened the previous week and think about the next steps.
In addition to this meeting, it is also important to bring together the managers to evaluate the results. Here, you should also review and redefine the SWOT analysis, the goals, and the action plan. In the end, the market is not static and must be adapted at all times.
Step 6: Leadership and commitment are essential
This is not necessarily a step to develop strategic planning. However, if the teams are not involved and are not committed to complying with the action plan and collaborating, your company will hardly leave the site.
Take, for example, a business that aims to increase billing until the end of next year. For that, it will be necessary to develop a good marketing and sales strategy, right? But better the strategy is, the marketing and sales team will not be able to do it alone if the logistics do not draw a plan to meet the clients’ demand or make the products more competitive.
The administrator will also need to fulfill his part and issue the notes with agility, just as HR needs to engage and retain collaborators. Good leadership, then, is the great differential to keep everyone motivated and keep the organizational philosophy maintained. In addition, it is the role of the leader to stimulate creativity, proactivity, and team unity.
Therefore, do not be surprised if your incredible strategic planning cannot generate results if the team is not committed and you do not have good leaders. Making everyone in the company work together is not an easy task. However, that will make strategic planning come out of paper and become a valuable differential for the business.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.