Planning strategically means working out a roadmap that will enable you to achieve your business goals. It should not be a single tactical idea that you wish to implement but a scheme that offers multiple routes that will help you get to the same endpoint. Strategic planning is important to all organisations which operate at a commercial level. As such, they are just as important for educational establishments, non-governmental organisations and charities as they are for small enterprises and big businesses.
If you are a director or CEO with responsibility for forward planning, then the key to the entire process is to think strategically. This means considering strengths and weaknesses within your organisation as well as opportunities and threats from outside. If you are writing a strategic plan, make sure you include the following four crucial components.
1) Mission statement
Some organisations make a big deal of their 'mission' and others don't. That will often depend on your brand identity and how much you want to communicate your mission statement to potential clients. However, all strategic plans ought to have a mission statement for internal communications, at least. Without clearly stating the direction that you are heading in, staff members cannot be expected to work in a way that supports your strategic aims.
2) List of values
Underlying values are important because strategies change over time. You may need to alter your operational planning to meet new market conditions, for example. However, if you are to remain on target with what your business strategy is trying to achieve, then you need some sort of 'compass' to keep you heading in the right direction. Writing down a list of core organisational values - such as honesty and integrity, for example – acts as this compass, which you can refer to time and again to keep you from being blown off course.
3) Goal establishment
Without stating where you want to be in a year's time or even a decade from now, there is no measurable way that you can use to determine whether your strategy has worked. These could be monetary aims, such as increasing turnover by 120%. However, they needn't always be financial in nature. You may aim to roll out software systems in the next 12 months, for example, that will leave you better positioned for strategic success once deployed. Make sure your goals are realistically achievable.
4) Key performance indicators
Any organisation will benefit from measuring its performance across its constituent parts. Strategic plans may be built around profitability, but this does not mean all your goals should be focused on money. Profitability, after all, comes from streamlining operations as much as anything else. As such, key performance indicators (KPIs) should be drawn up so each team knows how it is being measured and what it needs to do to support the wider commercial strategy.
Book a free demo
Clearview Systems is an established software company with expertise in business performance and risk management software, both factors crucial to strategic planning. Call us to arrange a demo of our software or simply try our efficiency and benefits calculator to give you an idea of what we can do for you.