6 Core Elements for Strategic Planning


[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]So you have a great idea for a business? Or maybe you've expanded your company, but the future still seems a bit murky? You need a strategic plan. Strategic plans are documents containing the goals and actions that communicate to all members what the vision, mission, core values, strategic areas of focus, strategic goals, and action plans are. The planning process goes through these four phases, 1) analysis or assessment, 2) strategy formation, 3) strategy execution, and 4) evaluation. After assessing and analysing your business, gather a team of people and start creating your strategy. Here is an outline of what your plan should contain:

A strategic plan shouldn't only be used in beginning of a business, it should be looked over and refined every six months. 

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]Vision Statement: Articulate the optimal desired future state. Draw a mental picture of what your organization wants to achieve over time. Provide a concise statement that describes what the organization is inspired and focused on achieving in five, ten or more years.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text fullwidth="yes"]Mission Statement: Define the companies goals, ethics, culture, and norms for decision-making. Explain what the company does for its customers, what it does for its employees, and what it does for its owners.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text fullwidth="yes"]Core Values: The guiding principles that dictate behavior and action. These are extremely valuable in creating a company culture that attracts and retains talent. Check out the 100 core values from 15 Winning Companies for examples.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Strategic Areas of Focus: The marketing strategy in which your organization will concentrate its resources to enter into narrow market or industry segment. This usually forms at the intersection of the following.

  1. The Organization's Passion: Its compelling purpose composed of values, mission, vision, and goals which inspire and motivate the members of the organization.
  2. The Value Proposition of the Business -- what the customer values in the offerings and rewards the organization for doing.
  3. A distinctive Competency:  What the organization can be best in the world at.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Strategic Goals: These items convert the strategic objectives into specific performance targets. They state what, when, and who is responsible for the completion.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Action Plans: Explain how a goal will be accomplished. To have any chance at implementation, the strategic plan must clearly articulate goals, action steps, responsibilities, accountabilities, and specific deadlines. In simple, clear statements.  Every department must understand the plan and his individual role in it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]If you're stuck, OnStrategy is a great resource to look to. It is an online database of strategic plans sorted by industry. When starting your strategic plan, keep thinking, where are we now, where are we going, and how will we get there? And of course, check in next week for another Thoughtful Thursday.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]