As a business owner, president, or CEO, you must develop a strategy document for your enterprise. This document is second in importance only to your financial statements in terms of how you are going to run your business. Would you go on a trip to see the world without planning your flights, where you were going to stay, and what sites you were going to visit? For most, the answer to this question is obvious. In business, strategic plans are comparable to a trip itinerary. Yet many companies, from small to large, do not use strategic plans as a foundation for a road map of their future, or they don’t even bother doing them at all. Many companies just complete a plan, tick the box, and stash it away in a drawer until the next required session comes around. I believe companies (big or small) that do this may very well be headed for trouble. Could Blackberry and Dell have avoided the consequences of the rise of smartphones and the decline of personal computers in the fast-changing landscapes of the tech sector? It’s hard to say, but I am confident that the more robust dialogue and research you and your team put into a strategic plan, the better chance your company has of surviving and thriving.
Your business entity must buy in to the process 100 percent. The resulting document is a critically important piece of the business’s future success. You and your entire team must be willing to commit the time and resources needed to deliver the road map to the future success of the business. There must be a reasonable feeling among the leadership that the data collected is reliable and trustworthy. Data regarding market(s) size and share, competitors, geopolitical landscape, and socioeconomic landscape must be gathered accurately and be as fact-based as possible. I believe that an outside party should research this information to ensure the lack of bias. A competitor analysis done as a collaboration between marketing and a third party would be ideal. Finally, a high-quality self-assessment must be done with total candidness and a willingness to face reality. I will now go into a little depth on the key components of a strategic plan.
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