Begin with the end in mind. When you create a strategic plan, you should consider planning for years in advance, not weeks or months. While the world is evolving rapidly, much can go wrong if you don’t think about the future of your business. For example, if you aren’t planning for digital transformation, you may fall quickly behind. The latest predictions from IDC state that digitally transformed organizations are projected to contribute to more than half of the global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2023, accounting for $53.3 trillion (FinancesOnline).
What is strategic planning?
Strategic planning is a term that is widely known, but not always understood. CFI defines strategic planning as, “the art of creating specific business strategies, implementing them, and evaluating the results of executing the plan, regarding a company’s overall long-term goals or desires. It is a concept that focuses on integrating various departments within a company to accomplish its strategic goals.”
When you are developing a strategic plan, you need to be focused on every aspect of your business as you pull in each department. It is essential that you harmonize all departments, not give each their own spotlight. It’s bad for business when they aren’t working together.
What mistakes can be made?
Mistakes are common in everyday life. Although, in the business world, mistakes can make or break the future of your business. Forbes identifies five mistakes in strategic plans, so you can avoid them:
- The strategic plan is not concrete - the plan is too vague to spell out the actual strategy of the business. There are only general figures and trends and text that is not defined. Responsibility and accountability are not present in this mistake.
- The strategic plan is not distinctive - the plan is not different enough. Being distinctive means that the plan must be different from what the business is doing today. How is it evolving to fit its customers’ needs? You need to spell out the difference between the old and the new to see if you’re going to make a positive change.
- The strategic plan is not coherent - the plan contains a lot of different ideas that may be useful, but they don’t fit together. The result will leave you overwhelmed and lost when rereading your plan. There’s no doubt that strategy is complex. It weaves together multiple things within a business to create a whole.
- The strategic plan is not convincing - the plan should convince people that the change is good. Will this new plan work? Why make this decision instead of that? A solid strategic plan should read like an essay, giving its audience a clear plot. They need to walk away knowing that this is the right way to go.
- The strategic plan is not actionable - the plan doesn’t spell out what is needed in order to use the strategy effectively. You need to define the resources and people, and the actions that must be taken to make your strategy succeed.
A solid strategic plan envisions the success of your business and has the ability to make it happen. Now, after learning the mistakes and understanding how they can hurt your business, it’s time to start planning. Where do you see your business in 3-5 years?
Remember, strategic planning takes a lot of time and patience, you’re not going to come up with a solid plan in a few hours. It may take weeks or months, but you don’t have to go at it alone. With budget season around the corner, our dedicated team is here to help you Get There. Contact us today.