Your company’s strategic plan is a way to identify what you want to accomplish, how you are going to accomplish it, and then following up with the progress along the way. For both entrepreneurs starting up their new businesses and seasoned professionals deciding to alter the focus of their firms, creating a strategic plan can seem a difficult and lengthy process.
While most businesspeople shutter at the idea of creating or revising a strategic plan, it is one of the most important tools you can use in strengthening your business. By following these 8 steps, you will find creating a strategic plan simpler and quicker than you ever thought it would be.
Come Up With or Renew Your Company’s Focus
In order to be able to identify any of your needs and wants throughout the rest of the plan, you must first identify your company’s focus. What is your aim? What are you in business to do? By solidly specifying the scope of your firm’s activities you can see what you need to do in order to get to where you would like to be, and how to measure your progress.
Aim at the Most Important Needs First
Once you have identified where you would like to see your company going in the future, it is critical to address any urgent hindrances which are in your way. If there are issues which would prevent you from being able to follow your chosen path, see if they are able to be dealt with. If it is not feasible to fix or get around these problems, you will have to modify your focus accordingly.
Create Objectives to Achieve in the Medium-Term
As soon as you have a clear path towards your company’s new direction, it is time to set realistic goals. Since a strategic plan takes time to show success, you should shoot for the medium-term, generally within 2-4 years down the road. If you are starting a new business, considering setting 1-year goals as well.
Assess the Metrics Needed to Identify Your Progress
Perhaps you have set specific goals, maybe to reach a certain sales amount or to move into prime office space downtown; how are you going to measure your progress towards your objectives? With easily quantifiable goals such as sales or profit, measuring is relatively painless. When it comes to more abstract ideas, figure out a way to put your targets into numbers which make them abled to be tracked (such as the monthly sales volume you would need in order to afford your dream office).
Decide Which Projects Would Allow Your Company to Meet Its Objectives
Now that you know precisely where you want to go, you have to decide how you can get there. Which projects or business opportunities can your company take advantage of in order to be able to meet the goals you have set for yourself? By identifying exactly how to get to your objectives, you can track your progress even more effectively.
Ensure Your Entire Company is Aware of the Plan
You finally have a solid plan worked out for your business by this point! The next major task is to implement it within your company. This is simple for small, new businesses, but if you operate a large, veteran company, spreading word about your plan can be a long process. Make sure every employee understands the direction the business will be taking, and what specifically they need to do in order to help the company achieve the goals.
Review to Ensure the Firm is Meeting Its Objectives
Once you have implemented your plan in your organization, it is critical that you regularly monitor progress. It is easy for plans to get derailed due to the leadership not properly ensuring their milestones. Rather than setting time frames (such as six months) to check progress, make it a continuous project.
Re-Align Your Company’s Direction Based on the Review
If you find during your review that your company is losing sight of the goals, you need to re-align them. It’s easy for a team to get off track, and as the leader, it is your job to guide them back to the right path. By actively engaging employees and holding them to the objectives, you are able to spot trouble before it grows – not months down the road.
By following these simple steps, you will find it much easier than you ever thought possible to develop a new or modified strategic plan for your business. While other companies are having trouble getting off the ground thanks to an undefined focus and objectives, your firm will be growing and steadily gaining ground on your competitors.
About the Author: Lewis Edward is an entrepreneur and the co-owner of The Office Providers . As an entrepreneur he has extensive knowledge in management and he offers any kind of office space for small or large corporations. Check his site for more details.