How to do strategic planning for your company? – WAU
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Strategic planning is essential to develop a medium and long term vision and, thus, achieve business goals.
Although it looks like one of those tasks without practical application, make no mistake, planning is what allows the company to organize, make processes more efficient and thus obtain competitive advantages.
But are you using this important tool in the right way? Or rather, is it not the time to develop strategic planning for your company, even though it is still small?
Continue reading this post and better understand what strategic planning is and how you can involve all departments to achieve more ambitious goals!
What is strategic planning?
Strategic planning is what guides companies in making decisions and in distributing their resources in the period to come.
This is a job that can – and should – be developed by any business, regardless of its size or operating segment. After all, just as all companies need to grow and achieve goals, it is also necessary to organize and develop an action plan that is consistent for this.
It is worth saying, however, that strategic planning needs to be a process that involves all teams and levels of the company.
That is, he must combine the commitment and dedication of the leader with the engagement of the teams so that, thus, everyone works in harmony and focused on the same purposes.
Why does your business need this planning?
We know that without planning, it is very difficult to achieve the intended goals.
Without this prior organization, the company is lost and does not know where it wants to go, much less how to get there. And, most of the time, this happens because the company does not understand its culture or its differentials.
Even though at the beginning you did your homework and defined your mission and values, it is common for them to get lost over the years.
Thus, seeing the full potential of the business and seeing beyond the obvious to get ahead in the market becomes a very complex and laborious task.
Strategic planning also helps the company to discover the most appropriate ways to achieve the objectives.
Imagine that, without knowing the differentials, weaknesses and the market in which the business is inserted, listing the best strategies becomes a game of guesswork and intuition. And, as you may know, this type of approach is hardly successful.
In addition, this can be an excellent way to engage teams and get everyone to work focused on a common goal.
When it is clear to employees what the company’s values and goals are to be achieved, it is much easier to promote collaboration and even create an environment in which everyone feels responsible and equally rewarded for success.
Therefore, see strategic planning far beyond the role. Despite being a document, it is what will make the company move towards growth without losing its identity along the way.
How to do strategic planning?
For your strategic planning to be effective, you need to have a schedule and follow some specific steps.
Find out below what they are:
Step 1: Diagnosis
Also known as SWOT analysis, the first step involves looking inside the company and the market to understand the current moment. That is, this is the time to list the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
For this, it is necessary to gather the work team and raise the internal strengths and weaknesses of the business.
Analyze the differentials and the points that need to be improved and then do the same with the external environment. That is, identify the opportunities and threats that impact the organization, such as seasonality or the country’s economic situation.
The diagnosis is important so that it is possible to understand the context in which the company is inserted and, thus, the most appropriate actions to achieve the objectives are identified.
Step 2: Organizational identity
For your business to be unique, it needs a mission, vision and values that are recognized by both the internal and external public.
This is exactly why the company’s philosophy is so important and must be taken seriously. Especially because it will guide decision-making and strategic guidelines.
The mission is the reason your company exists, while the vision is what you aspire to become or where you want to go. Values, on the other hand, represent the principles that guide the culture of the company and, even, of the employees.
Thus, the organizational identity works as an important guide to hire new people, close contracts with suppliers and even launch products and services on the market. Therefore, it is essential to reinforce it at all times and ensure that it permeates the entire business.
For those who already have this part of strategic planning ready, it is worth understanding when it was developed to see the need for a review.
A company can change a lot over the years and it can happen that the mission, vision and values are modified over time because they no longer fit the desired image transmitted.
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Step 3: Goals and success indicators
Now it’s time to put down on paper where the business needs to go and what data will indicate the success of this journey.
The goals to be achieved need to involve the entire organization. So it may be necessary to create an overall goal and then turn it into sales, marketing, human resources, and so on.
Remember that everyone’s involvement is essential in strategic planning, so each department must have its goals.
An important point here is that the goals must be challenging, yet realistic. So, nothing to dream too high and put numbers that are impossible to achieve within the market or the reality of the company.
The indicators will allow you to monitor the performance of the goals, so if one of the goals is to achieve pre-defined revenue, the monthly revenue itself will be one of the indicators to be monitored over the months.
Finally, make all employees aware of all these goals and indicators. That way, each one will know its importance and its role for the company to reach the desired place.
Step 4: Action plan
At this point, you already know where the company is, who it is and where it needs to go. So, it’s time to take action!
The action plan is what makes it possible to achieve the defined goals and objectives, based on a schedule and the definition of those responsible.
This means that it is necessary to define what actions will be taken and to delegate who will execute each one. Having this information documented can be the difference between a successful strategy and a problematic one, so stay tuned to this step.
As not everything can be a priority, it is essential to list the actions so that they happen in order of importance. With this, whatever is simpler or urgent must be done first.
To help you, think about what actions will really make a difference to achieve the goals and give preference to them.
Step 5: Monitoring and analysis
As the last stage of strategic planning, define a periodicity of meetings so that the areas of the company can meet, present and discuss the results achieved.
Usually, this meeting takes place every week, so it is possible to talk about what happened in the previous week and think about the next steps.
In addition to this meeting, it is important to bring managers together whenever possible so that the results are evaluated. Here, you must also review and redefine the SWOT analysis, goals and action plan. After all, the market is not static and needs to be adapted at all times.
Leadership and engagement are essential
This is not necessarily a step towards developing strategic planning. However, if the teams are not involved and are not engaged to comply with the action plan and collaborate with each other, your company will hardly move.
Take for example a business that aims to increase sales by the end of next year. For that, it will be necessary to develop a good marketing and sales strategy, right?
However, no matter how good the strategy is, the marketing and sales team will not be able to carry it out alone if the logistics also do not draw up a plan to meet customer demand or, to make products more competitive.
The manager will also need to do his part and issue the notes quickly. Just as HR needs to engage and retain employees.
Good leadership, then, makes all the difference to keep everyone motivated and keep the organizational philosophy going. In addition, it is the leader’s role to stimulate creativity, proactivity and team unity.
So, don’t be surprised if your incredible strategic planning is not capable of generating results, if the team is not engaged and you do not have good leaders.
Getting the whole company to work together is not an easy task. However, this is what will make strategic planning go off the record and become valuable differentials for the business!
Do you want to continue learning about this very important topic? Then also check out our ebook on Marketing Indicators and OKRs!