***NOTE: This is a series of articles on strategic planning. The Our Shawn’s speeches focus on how to Do Business Effectively() and he shares some of his insights. For bookings go to www.yourbusinessspeaker.com.***
Strategic planning doesn’t just happen. And it’s more than just looking at where you are now and doing a projection for the future. Good strategic planning requires getting into the big picture.
Two major items come into play in good strategic planning: where to you want to be and where is the market going. If the two can come into alignment amazing things will happen.
Here are four steps to go through to get this right. We are going to focus on how to get to a future you want – in a realistic way.
The priorities of your business should be things that are important to you. This might be very simplistic…but you’d be surprised how many business owners miss this step. Make sure you are going somewhere you want to go.
What are your goals for the business? Where do you see it going and what do you want it to be?
For closely held private companies the question is what direction of the business will really help the owners and bring out there abilities.
For bigger companies with more investors what is the best possible direction for the investors?
Notice how the different situations require a different focus?
(2) Market Intel
Where is the market and where is it headed? What have you done to understand your consumer and the future of your industry?
If you are really dedicated to having staying power you must think about the future and evolve.
(3) Mission Statements
Based on what you want for the company (Step 1 above) and where the market is headed (Step 2 above) what should the mission of the company be? What are you trying to accomplish.
A good mission statement should be able the company and show it’s future direction too.
Now in light of the future direction of the business start breaking the accomplishment of the mission down into specific and measurable goals.
For instance if the mission is “to be the leading LED lighting company” the goal might be to “sell 10% of the LED lighting purchased by [Customer Name] in 2020.” This give something very specific to be done and you can tell whether it is completed or not (compare: “sell more LED lighting in 2020”).
Make It Easy On You
As you can see strategic planning doesn’t have to be super hard. It just has to be done.
We recommend doing this exercise regularly with your top management team (at least quarterly).
The Our Shawn
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