Strategic Plan-Does Your Company Have One?

Does your company do Strategic Planning? When you are going on a trip do you do so without looking at the map or utilizing GPS to aid you in getting to your destination? Then when you are running a company why wouldn’t you set goals, review your results and determine the roadmap to where you want to take your company?

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you want your business to continue to grow and be profitable, if you want the employees to continue to be challenged and hard working, if you want continued success an organization must do Strategic Planning.

Many times a strategic plan is created, put in a notebook and left on the shelf to collect dust. However, this is NOT the way I suggest a Strategic Planning process is implemented.

First we asked the management team to define their three year goals. This certainly includes sales revenue, but it also should include customer satisfaction, employee morale, market share, etc.  Once these goals are identified we then start working on a SWOT analysis.

A SWOT analysis focuses on the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) of your organization. As this economy becomes more and more global and challenging, we have to do an internal grade card on how our organizations measure up.

How does an organization get started in doing one of these? They take some time away from the day to day grind and go ask themselves the following questions and then discuss and debate the answers.

Strengths

  • What Advantages Does Your Company/Organization Have In the Marketplace?
  • What Does Your Company Do Better Than Anyone Else?
  • What Unique or Low Cost Resources Does Your Company/Organization Have Access  To?
  • What Do Others See As Your Company’s Strengths?

Weaknesses

  • What Could Your Company Improve On?
  • Where Does Your Company Have Fewer Resources Than Your Competition? (People, $, Manufacturing Capacity, etc.)
  • What Should Your Company Avoid?
  • What Are Others Likely to See As Your Company’s Weaknesses?

Threats

  • What Obstacles Does Your Company Face?
  • What is Your Company’s Competition Doing?
  • Are The Required Specifications For Your Job, Products or Services Changing?
  • Is Changing Technology Threatening Your Company’s Position in the Marketplace
  • Could Any of Your Company’s Weaknesses Seriously Threaten Your Business?

Opportunities

  • What Good Opportunities Are Open To Your Company?
  • What Trends Could You Take Advantage of? (i.e. Changes in Age of Population, Lifestyle, etc.)
  • Looking At Your Company’s Strengths, How Can You Turn These Into Opportunities?

A SWOT analysis helps an organization define what makes them unique while outlining the organization’s strategic advantages so that they can leverage these in the marketplace.  This sounds pretty simple, right? Wrong!! These are hard questions that need a hard look with objective viewpoints being discussed/debated.  The stripes need to come off during these discussions. By that I mean that the head of the organization needs to insure that his team opens up and really tells it like it is. This discussion needs to be free of rank and penalty relative to opinions. Thus the reason an outside facilitator should be utilized.   

Now you are half-way home. If you agree that it is important to understand the SWOT for your organization, then you should also agree that you should do this exercise for your major competitor. If your business is in a market that is growing, then everyone can ride the positive curve. However, if your market is not growing then the only way to grow is to take market share from someone else. In order to do that you need to focus your strengths on your competitor’s weaknesses. 

As you contemplate whether your company has the time, energy, manpower, etc. to spend on this endeavor, let me ask you a question. How will you feel if you discover your major competitor is doing their SWOT right now?

The SWOT analysis is followed by a discussion regarding how you take your strengths to leverage against your opportunities while minimizing your weaknesses and threats. This discussion revolves around how you accomplish your 3 year goals, by first accomplishing your short term goals (1 year goals). We do this by creating specific Action Plans with completion dates and responsible parties identified. All of these plans are laid out and we establish periodic meetings to insure that the Action plans are getting done. Without the follow-up meetings these Action Plans seem to slide with the challenge of doing the day to day business.

If a company does not have a strategic plan then they are probably operating day- to-day and never seem to understand why the company is not growing or accomplishing greater good!  Does your company have a strategic plan? Does your largest competitor have one?
Do you need assistance creating this? Please give me a call so we can discuss.

Roger Bostdorff
President
B2B Sales Boost, LLC
419-351-4347


What Our Clients Say About Us

"B2B Sales Boost was instrumental in facilitating our Leadership Team in our Strategic Plan. Roger’s ability to guide our group through this difficult task made the process fun, exciting and worthwhile. The results speak for themselves. We secured a project identified during the planning process, only one month after completing our Strategic Plan."

Josh Huffman, LEED AP, MIT,
VP of Operations, Charles Construction Services

“We offered B2B’s ‘The Closed Loop Process for Business Success’ as a value-added perk for businesses that are WCEDC members. Registration for the session filled up almost immediately. The participants all indicated they ‘painlessly’ learned things which made their companies more competitive and efficient.”

Tom Blaha
Executive Director, Wood County Economic Development Commission