All businesses need a viable strategic plan to remain relevant and survive!

Given the current social and geopolitical landscape, businesses are increasingly faced with complex transformational situations that emerge rapidly. The pressure of global competition, emerging technologies, shifting educational preferences, pandemic, social unrest, and uncertain economic trends, requires businesses to map a comprehensive strategic plan. Now, more than ever before, a clear and executable plan is required to create the requisite leadership, community engagement, and business foundation to survive.

What is Strategic Planning?

A deliberate, disciplined effort that produces a series of actions that results in what the business is, what is does, why it does it, and what it will do in the future to grow and prosper.

At its best, strategic planning is visionary and proactive. Moreover, it is not one action but rather a set of concepts, tools, and actions that guide a business toward achieving its mission of creating greater and enduring value and worth.

How Does It Accomplish Its Goal?A goal without a plan is just a wish

The strategic plan ensures how a business executes its strategy. That is, where is the business positioning itself to be over the next few years, and how it will get there. Again, and not to simplify, developing a sound strategy takes only three steps or stages: A, B, C.

Stage A: Determine Your Current State

What is your ‘as is’ condition, what I call the ‘baseline’?

Stage B: Determine Your Future State

What is the ‘to be’. How do you envision your organization in the next five to ten years? What will it look like? Will it still exist? How relevant will it be in the marketplace?

Stage C: Represents the ‘how’. 

How are you going the get from the ‘as is’ to the ‘to be’? Stage C is all about the concepts, tools, and processes necessary to get to where you want to be.

Stage A, B, and C answer the following:

  • What are we now?
  • Where are you going?
  • How are you going to get there?

Consider the approach as a way to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be – the strategic bridge to success. At one end of the bridge is the ‘as is’ state on the other side is the ‘to be’ state. The bridge serves as the means to achieve that goal – it represents the implementation of the plan.

Asking and answering the A, B, C questions requires an ongoing and deliberative conversation between management and workers, key stakeholders in the business, suppliers, and outside players like accountants, attorneys, etc.  Now, consider your business’s strategy. What is its focus? Does it have a vision and a plan to attain that vision?

Developing a strategic plan is hard work. It is soul-searching for the business but once completed it makes all other endeavors of managing the business flow smoothly. The road-map for the business is the strategic plan.

A SCORE mentor can help guide you in creating a stragetic plan for your business no matter what stage you are in. Click here to schedule a virtual appointment. 

This article originally appeared here. 

About the Author(s)

 Col. David R. McClean (Ret)

Colonel David R. McClean (Ret), MA, BS, BB has over 28 years of proven leadership in variously sized organizations. He's a Certified SCORE Mentor devoted to excellence in learning and growth in applying strategic planning and execution.

President, Allons Business Solutions LLC
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