Where do you want your business to be in 2 to 3 years? In five years? Do you have a clear plan for getting there? Every business needs a Strategic Plan – a carefully thought-out roadmap for your business. A roadmap that documents what your goals are, their rationale, and how these goals will be achieved.
A good Strategic Plan is based on hard facts, sound market intelligence, and clear insight. Careful analysis and data-driven decision making is at the core, not wishful thinking or shooting from the hip.
You may think that you’ve been doing just fine without a formal strategic plan. But could you have done better? The business environment is dynamic and very competitive. Conditions can change rapidly. How can you be sure that what seemed to have worked in the past will still work in the future? Do you rely on management skills or luck?
Warning Signs You Need a Strategic Plan
Here are some common warning signs that your organization needs a strategic plan:
You don’t know where the business will be in 2 – 3 years, let alone 5 years. Without a clear grip on where your business is heading you don’t feel in charge of the firm’s destiny. You’re dependent on where the economy, customers, and the competition take you. You don’t have a plan for the longer term that defines the company’s direction and that guides you in setting priorities.
Priorities are constantly changing. You are constantly switching back and forth between priorities. New priorities are set, old priorities are abandoned. Nothing gets finished on time, if at all. There never seems to be time to reflect on the key issues and what it takes to make the business successful. Short term thinking is prevalent.
The organization is reactive. You are always reacting to customers, competitors, and external events. Is the company running you, or are you running the company? Do you feel in charge of the company’s future?