No business is an island in itself. Every business exists in a dynamic, evolving industry with competitors who are actively changing their product’s offering, price, or promotion. Consumer’s taste change and old advertising messages may need to be refreshed. Staying actively involved in the game of business is why strategic development is warranted.
Whether your business is large or small, you need a game plan to win amidst game-changing odds in your industry and the ebb and flow of forces beyond your control. Strategic Development is the activity of developing a game plan to succeed in business.
State Your Business Objectives
A business may develop multiple strategic plans depending on its complexity and operational needs. Large companies will develop Objectives for various parts of its operations including Sales, Marketing, Operations, Human Resources, and others. Each division will develop its own set of Strategic Plans, all doing their part to accomplish the overarching goal of the company.
Central to those plans is to answer the question – what is our objective? Stated another way, what does it want or need to accomplish. An objective is a goal, quantified whenever possible, that the business wants to achieve within a stated period of time. By quantifying the objective, you have a yardstick to measure success afterward.
Tactics and Timing
What methods will you use to get the job done? Once the objectives have been spelled out, now you’re able to determine how you will accomplish your objectives. Each tactic should be very explicit in why this particular activity was selected to accomplish the goal. Tactics get mapped to a calendar so you’re able to see how the strategic plans will unfold
Budget and Management
Development of a Budget is a key element in a Strategic Plan. All the wonderful tactics in the world won’t help if you can’t afford to do them. Each element of the plan should be a line item in your budget and a dollar figure assigned to it. When combined, their total is the cost of the strategic plan.
A budget is also a tool for monitoring performance of the plan. Revisit the budget monthly to revise costs against estimates so you manage and control expenditures for tactics included in your strategic plan.
After your planning year has ended, it is important to measure the success of your strategic development plan against its primary goals. By evaluating performance against plan, you’re able to refine and improve your business’ strategic plan for the coming year, with the goal of ever-increasing profits and productivity.