Planning Your Strategic Future

- February 21, 2012

Strategic Tuesday/Process

Hello there, I’m Jim Glover, That Branding Guy, for Once a Day Marketing.  Today is Strategic Tuesday, and we are continuing our series on strategic planning.  Today’s topic is: “Planning Your Strategic Future.”  We are going to define what strategic planning is all about.

I know most small businesses and entrepreneurs are so involved in day-to-day operations that they forget about their strategic future.  However, if you don’t know where you are going, how will you get there?

A strategic plan is the process of looking into the future and determining how you are going to get where you want to go.  You should also consider the resources you have available to enable you to make that journey. 

A strategic plan is not a business plan.  You’ve probably heard of business plans or even developed your own.  A business plan contains much more detail around your organization, product, market and marketing plan, as well as your operational and financial plans.  The business plan contains the numbers, so if you are seeking out investment capital the business plan is what you would share.

A strategic plan is also not an action plan; we’ll be talking about that in the future.  An action plan is very tactical as to what tasks you are going to do today, next week, next month.  It addresses who is responsible for task execution, target completion and cost. 

The strategic plan is about the future and the journey to achieving your goals.  It is a roadmap.  And, just like planning a trip, you know where you are and you know where you want to go.

There are various ways you can get from here to there on your journey.  A paved road, an unpaved road or a route that is less conventional.  Determine which route makes the most sense for your company. 

You also have to determine the means you use to reach your goal.  In our trip analogy, if you are going to take the freeway, you might want to drive a Ferrari.  If you’re going via the unpaved road, you had better take an off-road vehicle.  Similarly, the resources you leverage depend on the route that you’re taking.   Lastly, you have to determine how fast you want to reach your target which relates to timing and duration. 

The strategic plan provides a sense of direction for you and the other people in your organization.  Think of the strategic plan as your company’s GPS system.  It tells you where you are now and provides directions to reach your future goal.  And, like the GPS, you have to recalibrate now and then because circumstances change in the market place with respect to your competition, the products that you are offering, etc.  The strategic plan that may have been forward looking two or three years ago is no longer relevant, so update it periodically to ensure you stay on track. 

There is a great deal of information related to strategic planning on the Internet.  My recommendation is to dive in and look at the various methodologies for developing a strategic plan and then put your plan in place.

That wraps up another Strategic Tuesday.  Join us tomorrow for Action Wednesday.  If you would like to arrange a one-on-one service engagement, please contact me via the information at the end of the blog.  I’m Jim Glover, That Branding Guy, for Once a Day Marketing and we’ll see you next time.

James Glover: (505) 501-1330 or onceadaymarketing@gmail.com