Companies are under pressure to produce results rapidly in the modern commercial environment. But if they do not have a clear strategic plan, their efforts may be wasted. Developing a strategic plan requires time, effort, and commitment from everyone involved. However, it is worth the investment because a well-made strategy and proper execution of that strategy can make a business much more successful.
Learn five steps to help you develop an effective strategic planning process.
What is Strategic Planning?
Strategy planning is the method of developing a plan that guides your company’s actions over time. It includes identifying goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics. A good plan should include how you will achieve them, what resources you need to do this, and who will be responsible for each task. Kendrick Lamont Elkins has broken down this process below into five steps so it will be easier for you to understand.
Establish Your Company’s Goals and Milestones
The result of your company’s plan is your business goals. They are the goals you have set for your firm. You can have a variety of business objectives, but they should all aim toward attaining success. Before beginning any new project, it is critical to establish your goal.
Defining your company’s goals involves understanding your consumer base, product or service, or how much revenue you have to generate.
You should also set objectives along the way to track your progress toward your goals. Milestones may include the setup of your website or the engagement with your first client, and perhaps even the receipt of your first payment.
Determine Your Market and Competitors
The second step in any marketing plan is to identify whom you want to reach. You may have a specific demographic that you want to attract, or you may want to sell to everyone. Thus, understanding what type of person you are trying to reach will help you create a message that resonates with them.
Once you know whom you are targeting, you need to find out who else is doing similar things. According to Kendrick Lamont Elkins, having such information will give you insight into how they deal with their customers and what messages resonate with them. If you notice that they use specific tactics that you don’t, you can use those insights to develop your strategy.
Developing a Marketing Plan
The third step is to develop a solid strategy for reaching your targets. This phase requires deciding on the approaches that will help you achieve your goals while also creating a schedule and explicitly defining duties. Strategy mapping is a necessary framework for describing your overall strategy. Prepare to leverage your principles and purpose statement to say “no” to ideas that will not benefit you strategically. For example, your company may decide to invest less in physical stores and more in online marketing.
Put Your Strategy into Action
The implementation of your strategy is your fourth step. The strategic planning process is now in the execution stage. Successful execution is critical to the success of the company, says Kendrick Lamont Elkins.
A new plan and approach should be adopted at the start of this phase if the overall plan does not work with the current business operations.
The strategy can be turned into a detailed plan by mapping the processes. Use KPI dashboards to efficiently communicate team responsibilities.
Analyze the Results and Make Adjustments to the Strategy
In the plan’s final stages, review, and revision helps you analyze and sort your goals based on previous achievements or failures. Performance measurements, a constant examination of internal and external challenges, and, if necessary, corrective steps are all part of strategy evaluation and control actions. The definition of the criteria to be measured is a vital step in every successful strategic review.
It’s crucial to review your objectives and strategic choices annually to ensure that the business stays on track for long-term success. Monitor your progress with balanced scorecards to gain a thorough understanding of your company’s performance and to implement strategic goals.
It’s important to know what you’re trying to achieve before planning how to achieve those goals. It will ensure that you don’t waste time and money on strategies that won’t work.
While planning and strategizing, don’t just sit back and hope for the best. You need to take action and evaluate the results. So you know what works and what doesn’t, recommends Kendrick Lamont Elkins.