Strategic Planning: Your Success Depends On It
Get a more in-depth understanding of your business to increase its growth.
The beauty of having a fantastic business idea often makes us blind. We get so excited about it, we just want to put it into practice and tell the world about it.
“It’s a wonderful idea, it will definitely work!”
Here’s the harsh truth: you can let that excitement drive you, but if you don’t write down all the steps strategically, your business will struggle. You won’t find the best approach to grow your business. You won’t be able to foresee obstacles and resolve them quickly. Anxiety and stress will set in because everything will seem chaotic.
It sounds scary. But it doesn’t have to be. That’s where strategic planning comes in.
What is strategic planning?
Strategic planning is the process by which an organization defines its goals, vision, mission or direction, and makes decisions about allocating its resources to pursue these defined objectives.
A plan could be 1 page or multiple pages, but it is necessary to set out a clear direction from the beginning.
Fail to Plan, Plan to fail
You’ve probably heard this before. If you’re thinking this is just a cliché and planning doesn’t help because “nothing ever goes as planned”, let’s take a look at what a sound business plan can do for you
Just imagine the confidence you gain when you know exactly what to do when problems occur.
Need help getting an important result? Your business plan will show you. You can figure out where you lack resources and think of other stakeholders to involve to ultimately achieve your goals. You don’t have to do everything alone.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the importance of a strategic business plan, there are a few key elements to keep in mind.
Key Elements of a Powerful Business Plan
Get clear on where you are and where you want to be.
Be the critical observer of your day-to-day operations and outcomes. What is the process that brings profit? Do you know what your competitors are doing?
Write all your current processes objectively and analyze them. What’s the top-level goal they should all lead to? Are they moving your business in that direction?
Here, you can perform a SWOT analysis that will help you identify the answers.
Develop the plan.
Now that you have the essential information, it’s time to actually write the plan in a logical, clear, and structured manner.
Make sure you include vision, mission, goals and objectives, action plan, and a periodical update schedule. Your objectives should be SMART, and the action plan should be carefully tailored to each of them. Include the external factors that affect your business as well (market demands, cost pressures, customer’s needs changes etc.)
While these elements are key for a successful plan, there is no right or wrong structure for the action plan. Take the time to draft a structure that best suits you and your business and makes it easy for you to understand it. Also, if possible, don’t do it alone. Get another set of eyes that will look at it from the outside and bring fresh ideas.
Maximize the efficiency of your investments by calculating the financial and material requirements of your proposed actions and find out how they fit into your budget. Adapt and adjust where needed.
Building a strategic business plan doesn’t mean everything will go exactly as you want it to. No matter how accurately you visualize everything, there will always be some additional obstacles you didn’t expect. That’s why it’s important to keep a level of flexibility and be ready to adapt to changes.
That being said, never underestimate the power of your plan and your power. Do your best to put everything in place and monitor your business’s evolution based on your strategy.
The fact that you’re interested enough to read this shows you’re just on the right track to business growth. Keep up the outstanding work!