“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
We all want our business to be prosperous. Writing a good strategic plan will formalize your vision for a better company. Whether you intend to outline the future of your entire business or focus on one area that would benefit from fine-tuning, a well-constructed strategic plan will steer your firm around the pitfalls that come from shoot-from-the-hip-approaches.
Investing the time to claim your enterprise’s future in a laid out, the developed program will save you a ton of time and money.
Why is a strategic plan essential?
A strategic plan is a document that helps business owners see where their company is and where it is going. It’s also a process to kick-start a proactive mentality for a leader and their team, so changes are anticipated more often than they are reacted to. A well-formulated strategic plan starts with a vision that illustrates your expectations for your company’s performance when it’s mature.
Whereas a business plan will only help you set short-to-mid-range goals for your operation, a strategic plan is a tool for seeing your long terms goals. Then it accounts for the operational strategy of how you will get there.
Owners who do not use strategic plans may notice a sense of aimlessness and a lack of motivation within their team. Their firms may be strapped for cash and unable to fund a new, exciting project due to a lack of ready money to implement it. Without a strategic plan, operations are likely to stagnate.
How can a strategic plan help me run my business more effectively?
Changing your business strategy can revolutionize your business in every area of its operation. A well-thought-out, well-executed strategic plan can revitalize a business on every level, from the structure of its operations to the attitude of your team. It is the map to achieving the goals you have for your business, and it’s drawn from four developmental stages.
Stage 1 – Plan It
Determine your prime goals and the strategies that support your achieving them. Choose who is going to oversee the different parts of the plan. Getting your managers and sales designers involved in the plan’s construction is crucial to the effectiveness of its implementation. With your core trusted personnel invested in the plan’s success, your strategic plan will lead your firm to its goals because your team will be in concert to see that they’re achieved.
Stage 2 – Implement It
In this stage, you’ll determine the timetable by which your plan will mature, list descending priorities, and delegate the responsibilities to be phased in as they are needed. Then put your strategic plan into action.
Stage 3 – Monitor It
Watch how your team functions continuously. Note what’s working and what needs tinkering. This is where problems will be discovered, and you’ll be prepared to deal with them.
Stage 4 – Review It
Let your team members review the plan frequently to see how it works and where changes should be made.
How can a strategic plan help measure goals and achievements?
Use data tools to get the most out of your strategic plan. Try DesignAlign’s dashboard analytics software to keep track of your metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs), and key results. Tap your team for feedback that raw data won’t substantiate.
Determining the right questions to ask will shape the functionality of your plan. Before you develop a strategic plan, crystallize your answers to fundamental questions where ambiguity could be hiding. How is my business performing now? Where do I want it to be in five years? What are the most significant “gaps” between where it is today and where you want it to be in 5 years? What would be the most critical changes to tackle in 2023 toward your 5-year goal?
Develop the strategic selling platform inside and out, prioritizing pivotal changes
SWOT (an introspective sweep of the functionality of your business) and STEEPLE (a look at external factors that may affect your business) analyses will help determine the objectives that will fit into your plan. Once the foundational questions have been answered, the overarching question as you develop your project remains: What will my business look like when I am finished building it out?
As you decide whom to involve in the plan’s construction, trust that the most critical components of your strategic plan are the people involved in making your business tick. Curate observations and experience from employees and external affiliates such as advisors, business coaches, stakeholders, and customers. Your employees’ and associates’ endorsement of the plan is central to its success, so choosing the right people for the job is paramount. Hold a brainstorming session to refine your project visualization, prioritize the deliverables, determine role assignments for deliverables, and review your plan every quarter.
A business is worth the time invested into it. Building a strategic plan from the ground up, or analyzing and tweaking one every quarter, will steer your business to the high road of success. It will save owners from the lost opportunities created by cash flow jams, the guessing involved in the process of options elimination, and “analysis paralysis.” In other words, a ton of time and money.
—SEN Leadership Team
Master strategic planning, selling more into each job, leveraging technology, Good-Better-Best selling, and other smart implementations at one of SEN University’s valued online business courses – or contact Shannon Blair to attend our in-person schools.
We’re closing in on 2022’s fall conference, but members can still register to join us in Tucson on September 20-23. We will discuss how interactive budgeting can earn your firm a higher gross profit, discover creative strategies with keynote speaker Kristen Brown to inspire your sales team, get prospects on your website, into your showroom, and so much more. This September is the time to invest in your business for 2023 and beyond!