Design of the Planning Process
You and your team are facilitated through a process
designed to fit your business and meet your unique
needs in preparing, strategically, for the future.
The Customer Challenge
The challenge is to keep the customers you have and
find new ones in order to grow your business. This
step explores unique ways to do this.
The Competitive Battle
Your competitors want you out of the way.
You need to defend your position, ensure your
survival and develop proactive strategies to grow
your business in the midst of this ongoing battle.
You must ensure that you are competitively
positioned - that you are more than a "me to"
business dependent upon what others in the industry
choose to do.
You need to ensure that the customer understands
what sets your products and services apart - your
unique competitive advantage. You need to
continuously enhance this competitive advantage to
The Changing Environment
Nothing stays the same forever. You need to monitor
the trends that will become threats.
You need to prepare the business to cope with change
- expected and unexpected - and to proactively
pursue strategic opportunities that create a
stronger strategic position for your firm and force
others to keep up.
Opportunities and Weaknesses on the Inside
You must always be working to get better. The key
is making the right choices for improving your
organization and improving your competitive position
and then allocating the resources to achieve these
The Business Model
Understanding the underlying business model through
which you are achieving growth and profit is
Understanding how and when that model will need to
change to match industry, market and environmental
change is being strategic and is vital to your long
Prioritizing Strategic Goals
You can't do everything you need to do or would like
to do. You have to select your priorities with an
eye on current profitability and long term success.
Planning Your firm's Strategic Future
Formulating Strategy and Defining Strategic Intent
Out of the discussions generated above and the
priorities that you have chosen, you now identify
the broad strategies that will ensure that your
business moves ahead proactively and moves into the
future in the strongest strategic position possible.
The Written Strategic Plan and Action Plan
Using this strategic intent as your guide, you craft
Each objective must define a result - one that you
and the rest of the team can understand and to which
you can all commit. Each objective incorporates a
measure of that result (to ensure everyone will know
when it has been achieved) and a time frame within
which this will happen. You also identify who will
be accountable for ensuring that each objective is
The Action Plan creates further detail as to how
each objective is to be achieved, with the focus on
the most immediate twelve months. It also includes
the time frame for each action or task and who will
own the process of ensuring that these details are
This is the most critical step, given all
the work described above. You must ensure that
you and your team complete the work to which you
have committed your resources and your people.
This process is designed to achieve follow-through
on a continuing basis. This is where most plans
fail and it is the intent of Strategic Management
Associates to stay with you through this effort to
ensure that you stayed focused on achieving the
plan's objectives and strategies.