5 Ways to Plan Strategically for Business
Conventional Strategic Planning
Said to be one of the most common forms of strategic planning for business, the conventional approach to strategic planning involves:
- Internal Business Analysis – Overview of the business’ current position, mission values and if necessary updating these in accordance to what the business has achieved to
- date, and the longer term objectives.
- External Analysis – Research and evaluation of the current market place, consumer trends, competition and opportunities for growth and expansion.
- Goal Setting – Once a realistic opportunity for growth has been identified, set out the business vision and goals taking into account the steps that need to be taken to achieve each target.
- Action Planning – Now that the business goals have been identified it is time to start creating a SMART action plan that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed.
- Logistic and Financial Planning – Take a look at the resources that the business has and what will be required to make the new goals happen. How much finance and staff will be involved etc…
- Get organised – Create a plan that presents the result of the above steps.
Issues Based Strategic Planning
Most beneficial for smaller business with limited finance and resources. Taking time out to focus on the longer term business objectives can seem like an ongoing battle. Issues based strategic business planning, encourages businesses to start by examining the following:
- Current Business Issues – Analysis of the current issues affecting the business, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- Solution based action planning – create an action plan that details the solutions and subsequent actions that needs to be taken to address each of the issues identified.
Organic / Self Organising Strategic Planning
This approach to strategic planning adopts the principle that a collective approach to achieving longer term objectives is the best way to grow as an organisation.
In organic strategic planning, each person takes responsibility for regularly undertaking tasks to achieve the overall vision.
Organic planning can often involve:
- Consultation / Collaboration – Creating a focus group or focus groups where the workforce and management come together to discuss articulate longer term objectives.
- Ownership and Accountability – Each participant of the focus groups takes responsibility for a particular area or task that needs to be completed as a part of the overall vision, providing an update with regards any key milestones achieved or issues experienced along the way, at future meetings.
The benefit of this type of strategic planning is that it offers more flexibility in being able to adapt to the changing nature of business.
Alignment Strategic Planning
Alignment planning takes into account the business’ organisational structure, vision, values and products and services that are being offered. Evaluating what is working and aspects of the business that need to be adjusted in order to achieve the long term vision.
Strategic Planning using the alignment method often involves:
- Internal Analysis – Evaluation of the current business position, business mission and values.
- Trouble Shooting – Assessment of what is working and what is not working and the subsequent adjustments that need to be made.
- Action Planning – Action plan created to establish how each adjustment required will be made.
- Implementation – Actions undertaken to address areas and needs for adjustment.
Scenario Strategic Planning
Pretty much like the name suggests, Scenario Strategic Planning is based on a series of scenarios the business may find itself in and is often used with other types of strategic planning.
In order to create this type of strategic planning the following steps are taken:
- Internal and External Analysis – Evaluation of the business’ current position. Areas for improvement and business opportunities.
- Visualisation – For each adjustment that need to be made a series of scenarios are created in the best, worse and reasonable instance.
- Action Planning – Create a series of actions that are required to achieve each scenario.
- Selection and Implementation – Select the most feasible scenario according to finance and resources and add to the strategic plan for implementation.
Strategic planning does not need to be complicated. To create a Strategic Plan simply select your preferred method is and get started.