strategic planning

Strategic Planning’s 4 Elements – Don’t Lose Sight of the Future

By Larry Chester
Budgeting , Management , Reporting and Metrics , Staffing 0 comment Like

Have you developed your Strategic Plan?  Does it achieve your Vision for your company?  Setting Goals is actually critical to reaching them.  Whether it’s reaching a particular sales level, or being able to retire, unless you set a goal, you are being reactive, not proactive, and your result is at risk.

Are you just planning for next year, or are you truly being Strategic?  Just as a budget defines WHERE you want your business to be at the end of the next year, the Strategic Plan defines WHAT you want your business to be in the future.  Here are the four elements that make up a Strategic Plan:

Vision – This is your image of your business.  Who do you serve?  How do you want to be perceived by your customers and the business community?  This is the personality of your business.  Once you formulate this Vision, make sure that everyone that works for you knows and understands their role in reaching it.  If the vision is yours alone, you’ll never achieve it.

Goals – These specific accomplishments are milestones to accomplishing your Vision.  What are the points along the way that assure that you’re heading in the right direction?  The goals should create a roadmap that allows you to reach your finish line.  They assure that you’re on the right track.

Tasks – How are you going to accomplish your Goals?  Each of those Goals has tasks that must be achieved.  They are the elements that get you to the top.  No Goal is accomplished overnight.  By laying out the tasks to get there, you will get to your desired result.

Timeframe – When will your Strategic Goals be reached?  It’s almost like trying to get to the end of a rainbow.  You can see it (you think) and you move towards it.  But, it keeps moving ahead of you.  Your Strategic Plan should be the same way.  As you make progress to your accomplishing your current plan, you need to revisit the process.  Develop a new Plan that takes you to that next level, and then the one beyond that.

Your Strategic Plan can easily be staged, so that there are near term Strategic Goals, and then longer term Strategic Goals.  Keep your plan fresh, keep the goal just out of arm’s reach, and your company will continue to reach forward into the future.

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