What is strategic planning? And why do this exercise?
Strategic planning is the development of a plan that will guide you in your actions and business decisions for years to come.
A company that has no goals and does not measure itself will inevitably have random results. To know where we are going, we need a plan.
According to the Publication Québec Industry Barometer, SMEs that engage in a strategic planning exercise are doing significantly better than others.
- They are almost twice as likely as others to have successfully penetrated foreign markets.
- They are 25% more likely to owe a significant proportion of their turnover to new customers.
Moreover, in a BDC survey, 70% of the most successful companies had first developed a strategic plan. These figures still don’t convince you? You will tell me that you do not have time. That you are too busy managing the day-to-day activities. You may be too close to the tree and you cannot see the forest anymore.
If you are caught up in the daily routine to the point of not being able to take the time to stop and ask yourself what your operational strategies are, you probably and unfortunately are taking short-term decisions that are not always the best ones for your business.
The objective of strategic planning is to set the overall goals for your business and develop an action plan to achieve them. This means taking a step back from your day-to-day operations and asking where your business is going and what its priorities should be.
You must know who you are as a company and what you want. The exercise should allow you to identify the following:
- Description of your company;
- Mission statements, vision and values;
- Analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for the company;
- Analysis of external factors, for example different markets and costs;
- List the main objectives to achieve your business vision;
- Establishment of an action plan;
- Identification of required resources (monetary and human) including establishing roles and responsibilities.
The exercise will establish where your business is today, where you want to bring it and identify what you need to do to get there. Of course, discipline will be important to follow this plan. Do not forget to review it periodically.
So, do not let luck and fate direct your actions, take the lead and have control by establishing a strategic plan.
If you need help, we can help you!