It is super-hard to spearhead growth in your organization without a strategic plan. A strategic plan defines the organization’s path and its future. While it is easy for everyone to talk about a strategic plan, the crux of the matter is that it is easier said than created. Many organizations even struggle owing to taking that wrong trajectory in creating a strategic plan. Fortunately, this article helps you avert the disastrous path. We take you through a guide on creating a strategic plan for your organization as follows.
Determine your Current Position
Knowing where you are is the starting point for every effective strategic plan. It is like dissecting your organization to determine where your strengths and weaknesses lie. The most viable way to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your organization is through SWOT analysis. Here, gather as much information as possible about your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You ought to know your organization from all angles so that you can plan without mistakes.
A common mistake that most organizations commit is taking their perspective as the mirror of their organization. This is wrong! The image of your business is based on how others see it and not yourself. Therefore, obtain information from diverse people on how they feel about your organization. Perform both internal and external audits to understand your competencies and your place in the market. Ask your partners, employees, and current customers to have a more accurate picture of the perception of your organization outside.
Pinpoint Important Things
Once you have gathered the relevant data and information about your organization, it is time to identify what is essential for the growth of your organization. Of course, the parties you interrogate internally and externally will give a variety of views about your organization. However, it isn’t easy to accommodate every single view into your Strategic Plan. Fortunately, some feedback can be repetitive across diverse responses and are good indicators of areas that need more attention. Check those areas mentioned over and over again or those that struck your attention the most.
Analyze and rate them to uncover the significant barriers to the growth of your organization. If you did your audits well, you can’t miss something that needs improvement in your organization. It can be a department, product, or service delivery that requires fine-tuning. Once you have identified those key areas that need improvement, you need to devise an action plan. Some of the everyday plausible actions include discounts, lowering prices, creating coupons, and improving customer service just to mention but a few.
Create Clear Vision
Vision drives the future of every organization and you cannot afford to downplay it. This is why creating a vision comes after you have sufficient information and insights into your organization. Vision sets a clear path for your organization to follow and can therefore make or break it. This is also called a vision statement. One fundamental characteristic of a vision statement is clarity. A vision should not be merely or vaguely defined.
Before creating a vision, make sure you have a library of real-life information impacting your organization. Besides clarity, a vision statement should be specific, meaningful, and if possible measurable. Several top organizations across the globe have reaped big from good vision statements. Most of them create vision statements that make their customers and stakeholders feel they are part of the organization’s dream. This evokes that emotional attachment, meaning that customers or stakeholders would likely bind well with the organization.
Outline your Objectives
Once your vision statement is ready, the next thing on the line is your objectives. While vision defines the path you want your organization to follow, objectives are more or less the roadmap that will take you there. Simply put, objectives are the things you measure to achieve your strategies. It gives a way for business owners to make plans, track progress, and work towards achieving this progress. Just like vision, good objectives must have certain characteristics.
If you want to define the best objective for your organization, make it measurable, specific, and tactical. When objectives are measurable, you can easily notice when the organization is not in tandem with the set objectives and correct the mess. For example, if your objective is “fast service”, you don’t expect customers to wait for long before being served. If customers complain about slow service, then you can easily find why there is a delay. Also, make the necessary adjustments to make service delivery faster.
Outline the Actions
It is crystal clear that objectives are very crucial in realizing the vision of your organization. Drafting your objectives without concrete actions is a waste of time. Actions otherwise referred to as tactics are the steps you follow with your team to ensure that the set objectives are met. Because you want to track whether you are in line or off the mark as far as your objectives are concerned, these actions must be measurable.
One of the most popular yet plausible methods of ensuring your actions are measurable is by attaching them with key performance indicators (KPI). Make sure you pick the best KPIs to help you notice when things are not going the right way in your organization. In a nutshell, actions/tactics are the genesis of the execution of your strategic plan.
Creating a strategic plan is key to the success of every organization. Every organization that understands the role of a strategic plan cannot think twice about the need to have a good strategic plan. It doesn’t matter the size of the organization. Whether small or big, the better the strategic plan, the higher the chances of success. With the dynamic and highly competitive market, a strategic plan must be well-thought-out. We hope our guide has elaborated on some of the crucial facets of creating a strategic plan. Leverage these steps and be sure to make your organization grow and outshine other organizations in a challenging market.