Want to grow your business? Here's why Strategic Planning is key
Effective strategic planning is a crucial component of running a successful business. It involves the process of defining a company's direction and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this direction. This includes setting goals, analyzing the competitive environment, and identifying external and internal factors that may impact the organization.
Its importance lies in the fact that it answers the two most critical questions that are the quintessence of any entrepreneurial activity:
- What purpose does its existence serve? The answer to this question may seem obvious, such as selling X products or providing Y services. These are ways of implementing the purpose and not the purpose itself.
- How is it achieving this purpose in the most efficient way? Here, the answer must include what the business does and how it does it in order to achieve the purpose.
The benefits of strategic planning are numerous and can provide significant value to businesses. Some of the key advantages include:
- Improved decision-making: By having a clear strategy in place, businesses can make more informed and strategic decisions that align with their overall goals. This helps to eliminate confusion and ensures that resources are being used effectively.
- Increased efficiency: Strategic planning allows businesses to prioritize tasks and allocate resources effectively, which can lead to increased efficiency and productivity. By identifying key areas of focus, businesses can streamline their operations and eliminate unnecessary steps.
- Enhanced competitiveness: A strong strategic plan can give businesses a competitive edge by allowing them to anticipate and respond to market changes and trends.
- Better distribution of responsibilities: A characteristic of a company with a strategic plan is the constant goal-setting in order to always take steps forward. This targeting is integrated into the employees' daily responsibilities, making their role clearer.
- Identifying long-term goals: Strategic planning helps businesses identify where they want to be in the future and how to get there. This can give employees a sense of direction and purpose and help the business stay focused on its priorities.
But what does the strategic planning process involve? Although every company differ from another, the process of a Strategic Planning should not skip the following basic stages:
- Define the organization's mission, vision, and values: This step is the foundation for all subsequent ones, simply because no one can determine how she/he will achieve something if she/he does not know exactly what is trying to achieve.
- Conduct an internal and external environment analysis: Identify and predict all the factors that affect the business and influence the determination of its strategy. There is a range of tools that can be used for this specific analysis, but each business should choose based on its industry, nature, and stage of development.
- Determine the strategic goals: They should be specific, measurable, realistic, relevant and time-bound (SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time based).
- Develop the Strategy: This includes creating a roadmap to achieve the strategic goals, identifying the resources needed, and establishing a timeline and budget for implementation.
- Implement the Strategic Plan: This includes taking the necessary actions to execute the plan and achieving the goals.
- Evaluate and adjust: This involves monitoring progress, making adjustments where necessary, and taking corrective actions to ensure the plan is on track to achieve the goals.
Strategic planning may seem like a complex and lengthy process, but it worth the effort. A good strategic plan provides the roadmap to success and makes a significant difference to the long-term success of any business.
If you're not sure where to start, our team of experienced consultants can work with you to develop and implement a strategic plan that meets the specific needs of your business. We can help you define your goals, perform the necessary analyses, define the exact strategy and create a roadmap for its implementation.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help your business become more strategic.
|This article intends to inform the reader and in no way substitutes the specialized consulting services.
For more information, please contact MDC Stiakakis SA (Monis Kardiotisis 49, Heraklion | +30 2810 280985)