In the same way that when you go on a trip you need a route to reach the desired destination and not get lost in the attempt, a company needs the same, that is, a strategic plan to determine not only what objectives to detail but also where the company is going. company and what is the way forward.
Carrying out a strategic plan is not an easy task but it is essential for the growth and adaptability of any company. If we do some hindsight, we will see that in the last 5 years, companies have been subject to constant changes, whether related to varying trends in the market itself, such as the economy and new technologies.
So in this sense, a strategic plan will not only determine where we are going and the actions to follow, but will also show us if we are on the right track and therefore, if we are obtaining the desired results.
But … and what is a Strategic Plan?
It is a document where it will reflect what is intended to be achieved and the strategy to follow to achieve it. The essential objective of making a Strategic Plan is to predict how we want the future to be, to focus on what is really important and not lose ourselves in the attempt. Predicting or anticipating what will happen in the future is an impossible task, but detailing what we want to achieve and in what way is in our hands.
The elaboration of a Strategic Plan will allow us to:
- Establish medium and long-term objectives.
- Define and detail a clear path.
- Anticipate changes and take advantage of opportunities.
- Create value and knowledge
What steps must be followed for the Strategic Plan to be effective?
1. Define the purpose of the company: Golden Circle
In any Strategic Plan, these concepts will have to be established as a visualization process, where we will project the image to be transmitted. Being clear about the reason for being or the reason why the company exists is vital. Without this previous definition, we will stumble and we will not be able to get where we want.
If your public is capable of associating your company with values and a way of being, you will have hit the right nail on the head.
2. Internal and external analysis of the current situation.
As we have said before, you cannot have a clear course if you do not know what are the challenges and difficulties that you may encounter.
In order to know and understand the current situation in which the company finds itself, we must carry out an exhaustive analysis at 2 levels:
- Internal analysis: this study should lead you to know the basic elements of your company, such as the organization chart, presence in the different channels (digital channel, distribution, retail …), potential customers and the products and / or services offered by the company. This internal analysis will serve to know the strengths and weaknesses of the company and will be the guide to design the first strategies.
- External analysis: in this study we must take into account two variables. One related to the influence of external factors such as politics, the economy or society, and the other related to our own knowledge of the competition, to know where we are in front of them and what is our market share..
Once the analyzes are done, the company will be able to understand the strengths and weaknesses, as well as the threats it will encounter and opportunities to take advantage of, the SWOT matrix, where we will have a photo with the current situation of the company, both from the internal point of view, as a global vision within the sector in which it operates.
In this phase, analyzing the services or products of the company will be essential to evaluate if there are services or programs to create, maintain, improve or eliminate.
3. Definition of SMART objectives and goals
Strategic objectives are what make the mission operational. They mark the route to achieve medium and long-term goals.
In this phase we sometimes tend to generalize our goals and not go into detail. For example, we can set ourselves the objective of “diversifying our exposure to a market”, it may be an ambitious but not very specific objective, since we will not be detailing how much to increase it or when. But on the contrary, if we set ourselves “to increase our sales volume by 15% in new accounts”, we will be establishing goals that are not only more real but much more achievable. This is one of the purposes of the SMART Goals.
What do SMART goals mean?
- Specific – What do you want to achieve?
- Achievable – Is it realistic?
- Relevant – Why is it interesting for your company or clients?
- Temporary – How long do you have to get it?
4. Action plan
It is the tool that guides the development of the tasks that the company must carry out to achieve the objectives set. That is, it marks the connection point to go from point A to point B.
It must be taken into account that an Action Plan must be created that is easy and understandable for all members of the company who can contribute to the implementation of the plan.
5. Monitoring and evaluation
Last but not least, any strategic plan of a company must contain tools that help to monitor and evaluate it.
This phase will make it possible to make continuous measurements to monitor the execution to detect deviations and make the appropriate corrections.
As we have been commenting throughout the article, the development of a strategic plan is essential to determine the way forward, but it must be borne in mind that this may vary in its characteristics and functionalities depending on the type of company with which you are working.
In short, a strategic plan allows for more efficient management, helping to optimize resources and increase productivity. Likewise, it helps all processes to be more transparent and consistent, facilitating better monitoring and control, achieving the desired results.