The strategic planning of your business does not need and should not be a headache. Knowing where you want to go and how to go about it is important for any entrepreneur – and you know it very well.
Whether in life or in business, planning is essential. Having an organization in the day-to-day work makes any company more assertive and secure in what it does.
Not having a vision for the short, medium or long term is, in fact, something very bad for businesses in the segment. From there it is possible to have an understanding of how important it is to carry out the strategic plan.
We all need direction in life – and business is no different. It is necessary to follow a plan in order to get somewhere in a certain period of time.
In this text, we will explain exactly what strategic planning is and how to do it. Better than that, we’ll list some steps to facilitate this mission within your business.
How do you want to be seen? Where do you want to go? How will the walk there be? These are some questions that need to be answered and we want to make it easier for you to work with this post.
Stay with us.
Strategic planning: what is it and what is it for?
Strategic planning is a vital ally for decision-making by every manager.
It is time to decide where companies will focus their investments and efforts in the next year or some stipulated period of time.
Strategic planning is even more important when businesses are starting, or when running a startup.
Do you still “sell lunch to compare dinner”?
This phrase is classic and sounds true and present to many endeavors.
But the truth is that, to start changing this scenario, it is necessary to think in the medium and long term.
It is about the search for tranquility, security to work and to be able to decide important things in the best way within the company.
And it is only through a good strategic plan that objectives, goals, mission and values can be defined to guide your business towards growth.
Much more than setting and hitting goals, creating your company’s strategic plan is making a pact with the desired future. It’s knowing and paving the way to get there.
That is your working purpose. It is for him that you will look after every day in your business.
But to be successful, it is necessary to engage employees. Everyone needs to embrace the cause and wear the company shirt.
For the latter, implementing agile methods can be a good solution.
How to carry out 4-step strategic planning
Basically, there are 4 steps to carry out strategic planning in your company – be it small, medium or large.
- Knowledge of your audience, knowing who you will sell to and who you will serve;
- Understanding of mission, vision, values and strengths and weaknesses;
- Construction of the strategic map;
- Assembly, sharing, execution and monitoring of the action plan.
But, of course, there are some important steps between these steps and we’ll cover them from now on.
1 – Know your audience
Knowing the ideal customer profile (ICP), for whom your company will work, is very important in strategic planning. Everything that is done, in reality, must have the intention of guaranteeing the client’s success. After all, no business thrives without giving it proper attention, right?
Consumers always have high expectations when they buy or hire what you sell. Therefore, it is necessary to align all internal processes so that you can meet them.
More than that, it is also important to map out strategic partners for lead generation. The more ways to attract customers your company has, the better.
This is an essential step and one that will guide others. Everything needs to happen for the customer. He is the center of any business.
2 – Understand what the company is and how it wants to be
Now is the time to define the reason for existing and the path of the company for the next time. It can be 1 year or a longer period, it will all depend on how volatile is the segment in which you operate. The technology sector is one of those, for example.
Branding work is often needed to better understand who you are and where you want to go.
That said, it’s time to define, so:
- Mission – the reason the company exists;
- Vision – what the company wants to be in the defined period;
- Values – the attitudes that will guide the company.
It is important that this is clear to all employees. Place each of them on a powerpoint slide. Afterwards, print and spread them at the company’s headquarters so that everyone can always have these 3 pillars alive in their memory and apply them on a daily basis.
Another important point at this stage is to understand what is positive and negative about the business. For that, SWOT analysis or SWOT matrix is the best way to have it visually mapped.
In relation to the company, you identify:
In relation to the market, you identify:
3 – Build a strategic map
One of the most useful methodologies for building the strategy map is the so-called balanced scorecard.
With it, it is possible to establish, in relation to the company:
- Profitability and productivity results, and this is linked to a good relationship with the customer.
- Perspective of delivering value to the market such as customer satisfaction , market share, among others;
- Overview of internal processes, such as SLA , cost reduction to produce and/or sell, among others;
- Analysis of human resources, such as motivation, knowledge, good work practices, among others.
From there, we set out to obtain the:
- Strategic objectives – how the company will achieve its vision;
- Strategic indicators – will measure the success of the strategy.
To define goals, one of the main methodologies is SMART, created by Peter Drucker. In it, the S is specific (specific); the M is measurable (measurable); the A is achievable (attainable); the R is relevant (relevant); the T is time-based.
- S – Specify the goal clearly;
- M – Find indicators to know if the path taken is the correct one to reach the goal;
- A – Measure if the stipulated goals are realistic and possible to be achieved;
- A – Goals and objectives need to converge, the first needs to help the second to be achieved;
- T – Set the time for the goal to be reached and monitor actions so that the deadline is met.
4 – Action plan: create, share, execute, monitor and (if necessary) review
Get to work! This is the time to take strategic planning off the paper and, for that, an action plan needs to be defined. Set out what, when and by whom it will be done.
A good way to get it documented is to attach it to the sales playbook. Along with the goals, objectives, mission, vision and values, put the action schedule and share it with all employees.
Officially present them to everyone. It doesn’t have to be formal, but it is important to bring employees together to give importance to the moment and the strategic plan.
Better than that, stipulate bonuses for goals achieved, both by sector and by the entire company. A PPR (Profit Sharing Program) can be a good option.
Follow up and be sure that everything is being done within the stipulated time and, more than that, in the way it needs to happen.
If necessary, it is necessary, yes, to revise your strategic plan. After all, things don’t always turn out as expected, don’t they?
There are situations that we do not control and that can arise. These are financial issues like an economic or industry crisis; big change in the workforce, which will hinder the progress of the plan since whoever was executing it is no longer in the company and new ones have their own learning curve.
Because of these and other elements, it is important to have a constant feedback meeting with everyone. Both to monitor what is being done, and to adapt actions and deadlines.
There is no right frequency. Only the manager who lives the day-to-day work will know how often he needs to gather and ensure everyone’s motivation so that the strategic plan is fulfilled.
This way, you plan your company’s future with streamlined processes and it’s much easier to target a future of growth.
So, how can we help you?
Take the opportunity and read two articles that can be useful in your daily business.
The first talks about what 5S methodology is and how it contributes decisively to improving your business results.
The second addresses a strategy to increase efficiency in companies when it comes to marketing: benchmarking.