Why do small business owners ignore having a business strategic plan when they know that it is vital for the growth of their organization? Because strategic planning is so confusing, most business owners do not know where to start; and to top it off, there are too many different ways in creating a business strategic plan.
Lastly, business owners view the strategic planning process as creating big binders of information that sit on a shelf and are never used. In other words, it is big waste of time. To solve this problem, I will break the strategic planning process down into five easy steps.
Strategic Planning in Five Easy Steps
Step 1 – Environmental Assessment
The first step in the strategic planning process is an environmental assessment or scan of the marketing landscape. The environmental assessment is segmented into an internal view of the market and an external view. Activities associated with the internal view include conducting an employee survey to understand the satisfaction and engagement of your workforce.
External activities include surveying your customers, vendors and business partners to understand their satisfaction with your products and services. Other external activities include attending conferences and association meetings to obtain market research and to understand market and product trends.
Once you have conducted the internal and external activities, you must look at the data and convert it into useful information to plan the future of your organization.
Step 2 – Develop Mission, Vision and Values
Second, develop the Mission, Vision and Core Values of a business. The Mission is the purpose of the company. For example, such as “provide health care services for the local community”. Develop the Vision next. An example of a vision is “become the best organic soap maker in Imo state area”. Follow up next with the Core Values.
The Core Values are those items that define the culture for the organization; such as honesty, integrity, professionalism, trust and respect.
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Step 3 – Define Strategic Goals, Advantages and Challenges
Third, define the goals of the company that take your organization to the next level of performance. The term goals refer to a future condition or performance level that you intend to attain. Strategic advantages frequently are sources of an organization’s current and future competitive success relative to its competitors.
Strategic advantages are your organization’s differentiator among your competitors. Strategic challenges are pressures that exert a decisive competitive position influence on an organization’s likelihood of future success.
Step 4 – Develop the Business Strategic Plan
Fourth, develop the business strategic plan using the information from steps 1-3 above. So you start with defining the strategies that are associated with each strategic goal defined above. These strategies are the strategic approaches used to achieve the strategic goals.
Step 5 – Create Action Plans, Resource Plans and Budget Plans
Lastly, develop the action items associated with each of the strategies developed in step 4. Then identify the person who will complete the tasks; as well as define the costs to complete the tasks. In other words, you apply workforce resources and costs to the plan. This completes the strategic planning process.
Now you have successfully developed a strategic plan in five easy steps.
What do you think about the importance of business strategic Planning? If you have comments about this topic, please comment below.