Any entrepreneur lives in a world of dreams, but these are not fantasies. That person is contemplating a new product or a new business, and the imagination can justifiably run wild. Of course, there is more to starting a business than just a thought. Strategic planning is something that is going to be required. Thoughts come free of charge; by themselves, they do not cost anything. That is not the same as starting a business or a new product line.
There are some far-reaching risks involved. Making mistakes or working in an atmosphere of confusion is going to cause the organization to sputter and collapse. Strategic planning will consequently be quite essential to guarantee orderly process.
Examining the Big Picture
The logistics of starting a new company can often be overwhelming. The owner and his or her staff may be looking at renting space, ordering office equipment, and looking at initial marketing. These are all short-term objectives and they are valuable, but the long-term goals are even more critical. The strategy that comes from the planning lays out a path for which the new company will follow. It helps get through the initial days when the company is first introduced to the market. Competition is out there, and strategic advantage must be gained. The ability to rise above the initial confusion is assisted by having a strategic plan already in place. It gives an idea of where the company is expected to go over certain timetables and benchmarks. The core of strategic planning requires answering the questions what, where, and how.
- What is the business and what is its status? What is its position vis-à-vis competitors? What will make the company successful in the long run?
- Where would you like it to go? This is all about objectives and missions. An old employment recruiter question is to ask a candidate where they want to be in five years. It is the same question to ask in the strategic planning of the company.
- How will the company succeed? There should be a competitive advantage, and it needs to be identified. Furthermore, financing and organization to assure profitability is going to be part of the strategic planning.
Better Allocation of Resources
An entrepreneur needs to remember that strategic planning is not the same as writing a business plan. The strategic plan looks at what the priorities ought to be for the firm. Developing those will require analysis of quite a bit of information. The goals developed need to be consistent with the overall mission and when those goals been identified, the intellectual and financial resources of the company can be marshaled to move forward.
A Simple Guide
It helps to have a guide to follow in strategic planning A startup company can follow these general guideposts when beginning the strategic planning process.
- Identify purpose and core values. This means careful thought about what matters. There are to be no more than four core values, and these are the organizational values right from the start. The purpose of the company, why it is even going to be functioning, must be firmly identified. This will contribute significantly to developing the overall mission.
- Identify the major goal. This can be thought of as the hub of the wheel around which all the spokes (i. e. The objectives) are organized. It will be critical to have a major goal that is quantifiable. It makes it easier to develop benchmarks and timetables.
- Concentrate on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These are the metrics which steer the activity towards desired goals and objectives. KPI is also a way of justifying rewards for team members. If a team reaches its KPIs then bonuses and other rewards can be distributed.
- Assign Responsibility. The strategic plan must point out the roles of the employees and what responsibilities will be. Everyone needs to know who is doing what and to whom will they be reporting. Assigning responsibility and accountability clears up any organizational confusion.
It must be understood that leadership is going to be required from senior management. The chief executive must be intimately involved in the strategic planning; this is not something that can be farmed out to a consultant. By working on the strategic plan and seeing to it that everything is in good working order, the launch of any new company is going to be made much easier. It also means that achieving success will come a lot quicker because there is a determined path to follow.