Strategic planning is the process of documenting and establishing a direction of your small business by assessing both where you are and where you’re going. The strategic plan gives you a place to record your mission, vision, and values, as well as your long-term goals and the action plans, you’ll use to reach them. A well-written strategic plan can play a pivotal role in your small business’s growth and success because it tells you and your employees how best to respond to opportunities and challenges.
Despite the benefits of having a strategic plan in place, a growing number of small business owners aren’t focusing on the long-term strategies of their businesses. In a 2018 Constant Contact survey of 1,005 small business owners, 63% said they plan only a year (or less) in advance. Planning often is boring and hard, it consumes a lot of time. But this is the wisest investment because planning preserves 10 times more time in future. It happens by growth of efficiency. When planning you can inventory and allocate all resources in the best or nearly the best possible way. Through planning you will see interconnections between activities that are going to be executed and will be able to make use of it.
Imagine some simple task, peeling potatoes let’s say. What images come to your mind? Do you vision your own hands holding some tool and gently removing skin from potato? This was probably the shortest possible session of planning. But would you agree that you plan in such way dozens of actions every day? Every person on earth plans but the horizons of planning differ greatly. The statistics speaks that success of any business depends on whether we plan for a week or a year or a decade. The Soviet Union planned for 5 years and post-soviet Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Armenia barely planned for 3. The results are known. Germany planned for 30 and the results are also well-known as this country became a symbol of quality.
Planning often is boring and hard, it consumes a lot of time. But this is the wisest investment because planning preserves 10 times more time in future. It happens by growth of efficiency. When planning you can inventory and allocate all resources in the best or nearly the best possible way. Through planning you will see interconnections between activities that are going to be executed and will be able to make use of it.
There are hard times in any business when you struggle to overcome obstacles or facing other challenges. Good plan helps to keep pace and continue even in hostile environment. Quite often planning can replace (at least for some time) motivation and helps to focus when you are frustrated by encountered hardship. And here arises second equally important part of planning – implementation (yes, we believe it’s an indispensable from any plan).
The only situation when planning is useless is when the plan is not going to be implemented. That’s real waste of time. That’s why it is vitally important to make realistic and not “attractive” plans. If you create good-looking but impossible plans you double-waste your time: first at the planning stage and second at the implementation (or better say – failure) stage. Think twice and rethink twice more to create concrete and useful plan.
In the introductory part we spoke about two major components of activity: planning and implementation. But what happens next? What are the reasons to plan and implement something? Nobody will deny that there is always an aim or mission of any project/activity and you can speak of plan only in relation to goals. For better performance and management organizations separate Vision, Mission, Values and Strategy. Let’s have a closer look at all these elements.
This Coursepedia training course will feature:
- How to identify critical strategic issues and opportunities
- How to enhance your own & your organization’s strategic thinking to envision strategic initiatives
- How to generate and support effective strategic thinking down to all levels in the organization
- How to prioritize issues based on clear objectives and organizational capabilities to deliver high added value
- How to lead and motivate teams and businesses in diverse, turbulent and complex environments
- What are the Goals?
Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:
- Interpret the internal and external forces shaping the future
- Develop & follow a strategic roadmap through a clear vision & statement of strategic intent
- Identify the competencies and capabilities of strategically agile and effective organizations
- Recognize your own strategic leadership style and the styles of others
- Effectively prepare, motivate and guide your organization, unit or team towards the vision