Strategic Business Planning: No Room for Wishes

In the words of the famous French writer, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "A goal without a plan is just a wish." This rings true in almost any aspect of life but is especially relevant in terms of companies and how they plan to make their plans a reality.

The very nature of business requires planning, forecasting, financial projections, and so much more. There is no room for complacency in the workplace, especially at the executive level. By investing time and resources into a strategic business plan, you're ensuring that your goals don't just turn into wishes.

What is Strategic Business Planning?

Ultimately, the purpose of strategic business planning is to look towards the future, identify your company's goals, and craft an actionable plan that will assist in reaching the company goals. Though it sounds simple, there are so many parts to strategic planning, and you don't want to miss out on growth due to a lack of planning. However, strategic business planning extends far beyond the confines of the above definition. For a more thorough explanation, click here.

What are the Key Elements of a Strategic Plan?

1.Mission & Vision Statement. Before you do anything, make sure you have a specific mission and vision statement. Whether these statements are public or not, they can help you refine ideas by asking, "Does this align with our mission and vision?" When there are multiple opinions involved (which there almost always are), this is a good way to re-center the goals when they seem to stray.

2.Goals & Objectives. You know what the company stands for and wants, now what are your goals? What does growth look like for your company? Is it an expansion? A certain amount of profit? Selling the company? Goals will look different for every single business, so make sure you focus on what makes sense for your industry. Next, organize these goals by order of importance so it's clear what should be focused on.

3.Strategy. Now you know what you want. How are you going to get there? This is the time to get creative and brainstorm ways you can accomplish your goals. The creative process is a unique one, so this may take some time. Be open-minded and see what others have to contribute. If you take a look at some of the best ideas, they're often a product of collaboration, so be ready to listen, add your own opinions, and see what comes of it.
4.Action. You have your vision, you've set your goals, you've come up with some great ideas – now what? It's time to create a very specific, actionable plan. Once again, this will be different for every company, so put together what works for you, but make sure it's actionable and trackable. 

What Level of Commitment is Required? 

When it comes to strategic business planning, there is a lot of work at the front of the project as you decide what needs to happen to move forward. Once the plan is in place, it's important that you check in on your goals. We recommend that you meet:

  • Monthly – To check on the progress of the actionable items.
  • Quarterly – To check on the progress of the plan as a whole.
  • Annually – To ensure that your strategic business plan is sustainable, feasible, and accurate.

Why You Need a Professional  

This project primarily takes place among company executives and board members (if there are any), and it's beneficial to have someone from outside of your company to provide a different perspective and ensure that the plan is moving forward as it should. Accountability and discipline are key, and Lamont Accounting Services is ready to jump in and get your strategic business plan on track.
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