Strategic planning refers to defining a long term vision of where a firm wants be in the future, as well as outlining how the organization plans on achieving that vision. Proper strategic planning can make or break an organization since it acts as the premise on how a business conducts its everyday operations. Here are some useful tips that will help you make sure that your strategic planning process is carried out effectively.
Have a Vision
Strategic planning is all about having a vision for your company. Therefore the first step of strategic planning is to figure out what your long term goal is. It does not matter whether you are starting out a business, or re-evaluating an existing one, having a clear cut vision is core for this process. Decide where you want to see your business in another ten to twenty years, and what you want to be perceived as by your customers and your competitors. From this move on with the rest of the planning.
Make a Team
Put together a team of people to take over this process, rather than letting an individual handle it. This will ensure that more ideas flow into the planning, and will also make it easier to spot any flaws as well, which an individual will find quite difficult to do on their own. This team you put together should have a clear leader, to direct and moderate the way discussions take place, as well as a diverse group of people with expertise in varying fields. Make sure that your team members represent each and every aspect of your business, to ensure that nothing gets overlooked. In addition you can also look into management consulting firms that will be able to help you out with some of the decision making.
Most management consulting firms offer advisory services, and such services can be used as third party observances, which may actually provide ideas on various approaches on how to consider the same problem.
Be Specific yet Flexible
When making your long term plans you need to make sure that you write down the specifics as well. Vague planning, and goal setting can only lead to confusion in the future, as well as uncertainty in carrying out basic work tasks. Quantifying your goals is the best way to do this since it gives something solid to look at and aim for. For example without saying you want to increase your sales within the next ten years, you can specify your goal by stating that you want your sales revenue to increase by at least twenty percent, and your market share to increase by at least five percent, by the year 2026. By giving such specifics, it’ll be easier to map out your plans, as well as make it easier for your employees to follow them in order to achieve that goal. However, you should also make your plans with room for adjustment. Don’t be obstinate when it comes to strategic planning, and keep in mind that situations and circumstances can change. For example if the country is hit with a recession five years after you set your plans, then it is more practical to know that your previous goals may not be achievable anymore, and to set more realistic goals for the remaining five years.