5 Steps in Developing a Successful Strategic Plan
Giving your business a defined goal is important and developing a strategic plan can help you get there efficiently. Strategic plans help you see the future and prepare accordingly. They also help you anticipate unfavorable scenarios, provide a sense of direction, increase efficiency, increase market share and profits, and help you build a durable business. Here are five helpful steps to developing a successful plan and the benefits that go along with it.
Start with your mission:
Use that as the guidepost for the formulation of your plan.
Evaluate your history:
What initiatives did you accomplish in 2018 and which ones were not implemented? Assess why and why not and identify which ones are worth maintaining for 2019 and beyond.
Focus on three to five priorities:
Any more than that will be too overwhelming. Establish goals, decide who you will be targeting with these goals/ideas, and include who and when these goals will be accomplished and what you project the long- term outcome to be when accomplishing the goals tied to each initiative.
Monitor and report your progress monthly:
To ensure that the agreed-upon initiatives are being accomplished. If any initiatives are falling by the wayside, schedule meetings with the group to address the obstacles impacting the plan.
Should I insource or outsource the facilitation of my strategic plan?
The right answer depends on the ability for an inside person to not be influenced to push an agenda of their own or by others who would advocate for their ideas using this person. If you feel confident that you have an internal person who can lead and facilitate the ideation process cultivated from a planning session without this issue you are probably ok. Hiring an outside person to facilitate the plan has its benefits, because they don’t have a dog in the fight – they will be able to maintain objectivity in facilitating the discussion and keep everyone on task. It will be important, however, to provide background information so they can effectively speak to the business.
The benefits to Strategic Planning:
- Allows organizations to be proactive – A strategic plan allows organizations to foresee their future and to prepare accordingly. Through strategic planning, companies can anticipate certain unfavorable scenarios before they happen and take the necessary precautions to avoid them. With a strong strategic plan, organizations can be proactive rather than merely reacting to situations as they arise. Being proactive allows organizations to keep up with the ever-changing trends in the market and always stay one step ahead of the competition.
- A sense of direction – A strategic plan helps to define the direction in which an organization must travel, and aids in establishing realistic objectives and goals that are in line with the vision and mission charted for it. A strategic plan offers a much-needed foundation from which an organization can grow, evaluate its success, compensate its employees and establish boundaries for efficient decision-making.
- Increases efficiency – A strategic plan provides management the road-map to align the organization’s functional activities to achieve set goals. It guides management discussions and decision making in determining resource and budget requirements to accomplish set objectives — thus increasing operational efficiency.
- Increases market share and profit – Through a dedicated strategic plan, organizations can get valuable insights on market trends, consumer segments, as well as product and service offerings which may affect their success. An approach that is targeted and well-strategized to turn all sales and marketing efforts into the best possible outcomes can help to increase profitability and market share.
- Creates a durable business – Business is a tumultuous concept. A business may be booming one year and in debt the next. With constantly changing industries and world markets, organizations that lack a strong foundation, focus, and foresight will have trouble riding the next wave. According to reports, one of every three companies that are leaders in their industry might not be there in the next five years… but the odds are in favor of those that have a strong strategic plan!
Surprising Statistics of Strategic Planning and Execution:
- 68% of executive leaders believe their organization is good at developing strategy, down from 80% in 2012
- 80%of executive leaders feel their company is good at crafting strategy, but only 44% say it is good at its implementation
- Only 2%of leaders are confident that they will achieve 80-100% of their strategy’s objectives
- 70%of organizations that used a formal process to manage strategy out-performed their peers
- 75%of successful companies have a formal and pre-established system to inform on and manage their strategy.
- In 2002, 90%of well-formulated strategies failed due to poor execution. In 2016, this number has dropped to 67%
If you don’t know where to start with strategic planning or just need support, our group of executives is here to help. That’s exactly what EAG is all about – group thinking, networking, a collaborative sounding board, and conflict resolution. Having a group of diverse and informed perspectives at a CEO roundtable can pay huge dividends in improving your business and provide ideation and strategy for issues that CEOs, COOs, and Presidents face every day.