A strategic plan is essential to bring your business to the next level. A strategic plan starts with envisioning where you want your company to be. Similar to setting your milestones for your personal goals, knowing where you want to go will help you to create the roadmap that will track your progress to your goal.
Strategic planning can help your business be more effective and accountable as you move into the next year, but it is very easy for that plan to fail. Set yourself up for success:
Step One: Evaluate Your Business
It is essential that you understand where your company stands. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your areas of opportunity for growth? What are the threats your business faces in the market? Who is your competition and what do they do differently?
Understanding your business provides you valuable insight into the things you might want to change about your business and how it operates. This insight will help you to determine the purpose of your strategy which is crucial in identifying your mission or plan.
Step Two: Begin with Large Objectives
When you are setting the objective for your strategic plan, set up a brainstorming meeting with your stakeholders. What do you want the company to achieve? What do other managers see as the necessary aspects of your business? Where do your people see the company in five or ten years? Reach out to people at every level of your organization in the brainstorming phase.
Remember, when dealing with a brainstorming session there are no bad ideas. Don’t edit your team’s thoughts or you risk boxing yourself into repeating objectives or ideas.
Step Three: Narrow Your Focus
This is the step where you begin to edit and assess the ideas that were presented in the brainstorming session. Pick the objectives that will resolve the areas of opportunity that you identified in the first step. Assess the costs associated with each objective, this will help you to prioritize objectives going forward. Make sure that your objectives match your company’s values and mission and will help your company to be more successful in the future.
Step Four: Create your Roadmap
You have chosen your overarching objective, but the big, daunting objective feels like something you will never be able to accomplish. Breaking your objective into smaller, more manageable goals with defined milestones will help you and your company to not lose sight of the eventual goal. Set your SMART goals yearly, quarterly and monthly and place them somewhere you can see them often. Visually seeing the goals written down somewhere will help the objectives to remain your front and center focus.
Step Five: Review and Evaluate
Set pre-determined dates to evaluate your strategic objectives. What progress have you made towards your objectives? How has your business, industry or market changed since the objectives were put into place? Revise your plan, taking into account the ever evolving business environment. Changes to technology, regulation, legislation and the marketplace can make an objective redundant. These changes can also reorder your priorities. You might decide that investing in a new technology becomes more important than investing in an expansion.
Strategic planning might seem daunting and overwhelming, but the process is essential to having a workforce that is more responsible for their place in the company. The whole team will work together to make your company more effective and efficient. Do you need help to reach your strategic objectives? Reach out and see how Bill Gosling Outsourcing can help you.