Do you already have a Strategic Plan for your company? Do you know what it is exactly? Be that as it may, thanks to this set of business techniques, you will be able to make the best possible decisions to provide your Brand with a correct course and in accordance with your business objectives.
And it is that, within the lines of action of a business, there are times when we get lost in a sea of technicalities or trying to put too complex techniques into practice, which not only do not bring us closer to said corporate objectives, but also make us diverge more and more from them.
For this reason, today I invite you to create your own Strategic Business Plan , with which you will plan all the actions to be carried out and, in addition, transmit them to your team in an efficient manner and that they fit into them. But, I’ll start by offering you its definition, in case you still don’t know what I’m talking about:
What is the Strategic Plan of a company and what is it for?
The Strategic Plan of a company is a document that is part of the general business plan, which contains a series of tasks, techniques, and strategies to be carried out for the smooth running of the business at an economic, organizational, and financial level.
This plan will allow us to clearly define each and every one of the company’s objectives and pave the way towards achieving the proposed goals .
But, not pave the way in any way: we must spend the least amount of time and money on this path, that is, this Strategic Plan will make our project as profitable as possible.
In addition, it will help you to coordinate in an orderly manner, together with your work team, all the main ideas that should drive efficient day-to-day actions, allowing you, why not, to better understand the nature and direction of your business.
And last but not least, you will be able to get to know your competition better , and thanks to all of the above, you will be able to achieve the dreamed success, according to the aforementioned objectives.
Why should I prepare a Strategic Plan if I have a company?
It is essential that you keep in mind the objectives you want to achieve with your company and what actions you are going to carry out to achieve it.
The best way to know them and control their compliance is in the Strategic Plan.
This roadmap in which you are going to describe in detail everything you want to achieve and how you are going to work to achieve it, is the fundamental pillar that gives your company all meaning.
In addition to the peace of mind that knowing what you have to do at all times gives you, the Strategic Plan provides you with all these benefits:
- The company always goes in the same direction , something that helps a lot to achieve the objectives set.
- You learn to know yourself better . You will have maximum control over your strengths, that is, what you know how to do perfectly; and you will also be able to measure the threats, that is, everything you need to improve your quality.
- You make better decisions . The Strategic Plan obliges you to carry out follow-up controls, both of the strategy and of the objectives set. This helps you to check that you are doing things right; or, otherwise, rectify in time by identifying the problem very precisely.
- All the people who are part of the company feel more committed . And it is that thanks to the Strategic Plan, employees know the importance of their job at a global level, something that helps them feel more valued.
In addition, since they also know the path that the company will follow to achieve its objectives, they will feel happier. And, therefore, your work performance will be optimal.
Next, I am going to teach you how to make a Strategic Plan in detail, so take note!
How to make a strategic plan for a company in four simple steps?
Doing a planning of this type is a very simple process; You must analyze the current situation, both inside and outside your company, in order to determine the objectives and design the strategies that will help you achieve them.
Once the entire process has been analyzed and defined, all that remains is to prepare the Action Plan , that roadmap that will make your company work perfectly, and where there is only room for success.
Let’s see how you can create your own Strategic Plan in 4 steps.
1) First step: define the purpose of your company
Before starting to analyze anything, you must be clear about why and for what you have created your company; It is the only way to be able to define the path you must follow to reach the goal you set for yourself.
To do this, you must have very well defined the foundations that define the purpose of your company:
This is the why of your company, the reason and why you have decided to create your little empire.
You have to answer the question of how do you help improve the lives of others?
That is, why did you open your company? What is the main reason that led you to open it?
With the vision you must be clear about where you are going and what you want to achieve.
Try to visualize your company within a relatively long period of time; For example, where do you see your company in 5-10 years?
Values are the ethical code of your company. They must reflect the red lines that you are not willing to walk, as well as everything that is allowed and that will help you fulfill your purpose.
Also, your definition of values should match what others say about you.
And when I say “others”, I mean your employees, your customers, your suppliers and even your competitors.
2) Second step: internal and external analysis of the current situation
This is the most important and objective step that you must do during the process of elaboration of your Strategic Plan.
And it is that you have to know at what moment your company is and how you got here.
And you must also know the environment of your company : know how it relates to it and how relations with the outside affect it, both with agents close to it and with customers, suppliers and competitors, such as global agents, the economy, politics or society.
In order to carry out these two analyses, internal and external, you can use a series of tools that will help you obtain a better and more realistic view of the situation.
I am going to teach you the tools you need to do this analysis of the current situation.
> Internal analisis
The elaboration of this analysis should lead you to know the basic elements of your company, such as the organization chart, the situation of the Web page, its presence in social networks, potential clients and the products and/or services it offers.
In addition, you must accompany this step with a financial analysis that returns the reality of the situation.
To do this, you need to have a “P&L” (profit and loss account) handy next to the balance sheet.
Once you have all this data extracted, it is time to see the first results.
You will know the areas of the company that you manage perfectly and also those that you are not so good at.
That is, this internal analysis helps you to know your strengths and weaknesses .
And with this information you can begin to design the first strategies that reinforce your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses.
The tools that can help you achieve a complete internal analysis are:
- Value chain : it is a matrix that allows you to analyze all the departments or activities of your company, so that you can add value to the product and/or service that you offer to your customers. (See: What is the value chain and how to do it step by step? )
- Internal Factors Evaluation Matrix (MEFI) : this tool allows you to evaluate all the company’s resources, especially it is designed to analyze its strengths and weaknesses.
> External analysis
The external analysis comprises two variables; On the one hand, it is essential that you know the influence of external factors such as politics, the economy or society, among others.
And, on the other hand, you must know your competitors and know in what position you are in front of them, what is your market share.
For this analysis of the competition, it is also necessary that you have a clear understanding of the business strategies and the Digital Marketing plan of the companies that compete with you in the sector.
The result of this analysis provides you with information on the threats and opportunities that are affecting your company, and on which you can take actions to obtain benefits.
The most useful tools in the creation of the Strategic Plan are:
- Porter’s 5 forces : this tool helps you to know the level of competition in your company, very valuable information with which you can make the best strategic decisions. (see: What are Porter’s 5 forces and how to harness them for your business? )
- PESTEL Matrix (Political, Economic, Sociocultural, Technological, Ecological and Legal): with which you can measure the influence of the external factors that I mentioned before (see: How to do a PESTEL analysis? ).
- Competitive Profile Matrix (MPC) : helps you evaluate your competitors and thus be able to determine the market share of each company.
- External Factors Evaluation Matrix (MEFE) : with this matrix you can evaluate and weigh the threats and opportunities that you have found throughout your external analysis.
› SWOT, the matrix that reflects all the information of your company
The second step of the Strategic Plan ends with the representation of all the information that you have collected throughout your internal and external analysis.
The SWOT matrix is the one that returns the photo with the real situation of your company, both from the internal point of view, as well as a global vision within the sector in which you work.
The meaning of this acronym is:
- Weaknesses (internal factor)
- Threats (external factor)
- Strengths (internal factor)
- Opportunities (external factor)
From this moment on, you can start making decisions, designing strategies and setting goals.
3) Third step: design of strategies that help to meet the objectives
The time has come to draw up the roadmap that will lead your company towards the objective, or objectives, that you want to achieve.
Without losing sight of everything you have analyzed so far, you must define the objectives you want, maintaining consistency with the Mission, Vision and Values that you designed in the first step.
Once you have this clear, you can already define the appropriate objectives around the goal that you have set for yourself. And the last step is in the creation of the strategies that will lead your company to the fulfillment of the objectives.
To get all this up and running, I recommend these tools:
› Define your objectives following the SMART methodology
This is nothing more than a kind of guide that will help you define your SMART goals based on 5 characteristics that they must meet:
- S (specific): it has to be specific and specify what you want to achieve.
- M (measurable): indicates how you can measure their follow-up.
- A (attainable): it is very important that it is an achievable goal.
- R (relevant): do not lose focus and design results-oriented objectives.
- T (timely): set a time limit to achieve it.
This matrix helps you define the strategies that you must put into practice to achieve your goals.
Each of the CAME functions allows you to improve and reinforce the SWOT variables that we saw before:
- Correct Weaknesses
- Coping with Threats
- Keep the Strongholds
- Exploit Opportunities
› The 4 strategic orientations
The combination of the four SWOT variables gives rise to the 4 strategic orientations that will help you in the elaboration of your own strategies:
- Defensive strategies : they arise with the combination of Threats and Strengths and their objective is to prevent the current situation from worsening.
- Offensive strategies : they are the result of combining Strengths and Opportunities. Its mission is to improve the current situation of the company.
- Survival strategies : they appear after combining the Weaknesses and Threats and must eliminate all the negative aspects that harm the company.
- Reorientative strategies : joining the Weaknesses and Opportunities, we have this result whose objective is the transformation of the current situation, eliminating the Weaknesses of the company and creating new Strengths.
4) Fourth step: launch and follow-up control of the Strategic Plan
Without forgetting the four characteristics that the Strategic, Quantitative, Personalized, Descriptive and Temporary Plan must have, in this fourth and last phase of its preparation, you have to create the Action Plan that begins its execution.
To do this, you have to divide the strategies into small tactics that lead to very short-term objectives; some will even be daily goals.
They have very valuable information that will help you comply.
When implementing the Strategic Plan in your company, you can use multiple tools.
Keep in mind that you must create the Action Plan in a simple and easily understandable way by all the people in your company who will contribute to its execution.
Here I leave you 4 tools that can help you in the communication and implementation of your new Strategic Plan
- Map with the strategy : this is a graphic document where you must reflect the objectives you want to achieve. In this way, all the people who are part of the company will understand the reason for the strategies.
- Agenda : marks the most important steps and events that will help meet the objectives. With this, the company’s employees will know what is going to happen and when in the coming months.
- Gantt calendar : allows you to detail month by month all the actions that are going to be carried out globally.
- Balanced Scorecard : This management tool is very useful to be able to see and analyze all the evolution of the activity that surrounds your company, including compliance with the Strategic Plan.
Once you are clear about what a company’s Strategic Plan is, putting it into practice will not be too difficult, since you only have to follow the steps and advice that I have given you in this guide.