23 Jan, 2017

Why Strategic Planning is Important

Where are you going? How are you getting there? Who is responsible?

The New Year brings new goals, ambitions, and renewed energy. There are many steps your company will take before reaching it’s goals, but perhaps the most important step you can take is creating a strategic plan. Clear expectations, committed stakeholders, and success metrics are all important pieces of a plan.

A SWOT analysis serves as the basis for setting your goals. It’s difficult to know where you are going without first knowing where you stand. Objectively analyzing your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats identifies avenues for growth and improvement. This process is most successful when it’s completed with your whole team.

With data gathered from your SWOT analysis, you can begin to formulate your goals. Which areas need improvement? Where are there opportunities for growth? If you need to increase sales, what is an ambitious but also realistic goal?

Once know where you want to be, ask yourself how you’ll get there. This is often the most difficult part. How will you increase your sales? Does your sales team need additional training or tools? Are they understaffed? Are you using appropriate channels to distribute your marketing message? Outline tasks for each goal and assign each one to a person or team with timelines. If additional resources are needed, seek them out to ensure you are optimizing your chance for success.

Your final step in strategic planning is reporting. Will you be reporting monthly, quarterly, or annually? Analyze your plan, track implementation, and measure your results. Keep the plan flexible and refer to your metrics as a guide to determine if adjustments are needed.

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