10 Steps for Strategic Planning for Your Business

Any business needs to have a strategic plan in place if they want a chance of success. You can set up your own strategic plan without getting discouraged or overwhelmed by the details and set yourself up for success – read on for the 10 steps how!  

1. Build a Team

Strategic planning isn’t a one-person job. Don’t expect to do the whole thing yourself, or you won’t have a very successful plan. Look for people in or out of your company who are experts in economy, finance, and business writing and work together on the strategy. If you don’t know people to draw from for this step, hire a strategic planning service that will set you up from start to finish.  

2. Set up the Process

Before you even start, you need to plan the whole process (yes, plan the plan). You need to be on the same page as the rest of the team, and develop a common vision, objectives, and strategy to achieve it. Make sure everyone understands and is in agreement, and put it down in writing. This is also the stage where you arrange your team and each member’s responsibilities.  

3. Evaluate the Environment

You can’t just put your head down and build a plan internally. As per Marcus Peele, a project manager at Brit Student and Write My X, “you also need to consider how external factors will affect your strategic plan in the present and future. This includes social, economic, political, and technological factors that will affect how your business runs and its priorities.”  

4. Look at the Internal Factors, Too

Don’t focus only on external factors, though, because the internal aspects of your company matter as well. Think about the current performance and your future objectives, and consider everything from financial resources and human resources to the current methods of operations and the results you’re achieving. Favorable and unfavorable factors need to be considered and analyzed in your plan.  

5. Study Competitors

When you’re strategic planning, you should consider the strategic position of your competitors. What are they doing in terms of their marketing, print materials, their website, and social media strategy? Find out how their consumers and yours view their strengths and weaknesses. Consider how you can make your brand different from theirs and how it can stand out.  

6. Ask your Target Audience

Your strategic plan wouldn’t be very good if it didn’t involve the opinion of your target audience. Survey them to find out how they view your products or services, what they would like to see improved, and what they really appreciate about your brand. Your plan should be developed with them in mind so that it not only meets their expectations, but exceeds them.  

7. Define a Mission

Your organization must have a mission. If you have one already, you should review it to make sure it’s still relevant and your strategic plan is in line with it. If you don’t yet have a mission statement, this is the time to define it. To do this, identify the core values and principles driving your organization, both in the present and future.  

8. Assigns Tasks

At this stage, you can start writing your strategic plan. Each team member or team should receive a section that is appropriate for them to complete. Provide a template so the plan looks cohesive as a whole when all sections are combined. Make sure you’re getting regular updates on the plan so you can keep the project on track and address issues before they get too big.  

9. Put it All Together

According to Fran Walsh, a business writer at Australia2Write and Next Coursework, “when each section is completed, put them all together into one uniform plan. You don’t have to follow a certain format, but you should make sure each section flows together and doesn’t contradict itself anywhere.”  

10. Implement and Track

The final step is to implement the plan and track its success. Your plan is the broad objectives but it shouldn’t include specific steps. That allows flexibility for your organization to set functional processes to follow the outlines of your strategy. Review it regularly to make sure your objectives and results are aligned and constantly up to date.   Michael Dehoyos, a content marketer and editor with PhD Kingdom and Academic Brits, helps companies develop marketing plans and long-term strategic objectives. He consults with businesses to help them develop mission objectives and goals. He also writes for Origin Writings.

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