5 Reasons for Building a Strategic Plan

Building a strategic plan for your business each year will keep you focused on the right goals and priorities. The process will help you to identify new opportunities, set achievable targets and communicate your strategy clearly.

Here are 5 reasons why it is important.

1) It creates focus – A strategic plan forces you to take a step back and look at the big picture of your business. It is also more likely that it will get employees, customers and suppliers thinking about how everyone can contribute to future growth.

By setting out clear objectives for the year ahead, you can ensure your business is focused on the right things to drive success. You can then monitor your progress against these objectives to ensure that you are staying on track.

2) It ensures you are on track to meet your business goals – A strategic plan will help your business stay focused, by clearly stating what needs to be achieved. It will help to make sure you are in line to meet long-term goals, by setting the right foundations in place for success. By reviewing your plan regularly you can monitor how well your business is progressing towards achieving its targets and adjusting accordingly if needed.

3) It helps set achievable targets – Your strategic plan should be achievable. It needs to balance what is possible for your business with the resources available – including financial, human, technological and natural. A good strategy will align with your company’s vision and mission statements. By keeping them in mind when you are creating your plan, you can make sure that they are included in all aspects of your strategy, and that the plan is achievable.

4) It provides a framework for making better decisions – Setting clear objectives helps you to make more informed choices about business direction. Your plan can include both long-term aims as well as short-term targets – all of which will help you to make better decisions. A plan also gives you a clear framework for planning how you are going to achieve your objectives, by identifying the required resources and any potential obstacles that may get in your way.

5) It ensures your strategy is communicated clearly across the organization – A plan is a powerful tool for communicating your strategy to employees, customers and suppliers. It can help set out how everyone will contribute to the future success of the business – from the board right down to the shop floor. In turn, this will ensure that everyone involved knows what is expected of them as well as why it matters.

It is important to remember, a plan is only as good as the action taken to implement it. In order for your strategy to be truly effective, you need buy-in from employees – which can be achieved through open and honest communication about the importance of the plan and making sure that all staff have a clear understanding of what is required of them.

By working through these key considerations and having a plan in place to measure progress, you can lay the foundations for future success. No matter what your business goals may be, creating a strategic plan will help ensure that you stay on track.

Linda Ruffenach

Founder / Chief Strategic Officer at Execuity. Linda is an experienced entrepreneur, skilled facilitator, and bourbon badass. Her 20+ years of C-level experience enables her to relate to the challenges business owners face every day. As the former CEO of a $100 million international enterprise, she has been through almost every stage a company can experience from fast growth, rapid decline, to complete transformation. In addition to running multiple businesses, Linda is Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Louisville's School of Business, leading and mentoring undergrad and graduate students on their path to business ownership Linda’s superpower is turning strategy into results.