The Importance of Strategic Planning
Originally published in Carlsbad Business Journal - January 2018
In any business, the foundation for success is a realistic set of achievable goals and objectives for the company, as well as a means by which to realize them. The formulation and implementation is called Strategic Planning (SP). Is the company built to provide its founders with professional fulfillment until retirement? Is the goal to grow and sell for a substantial payday? Somewhere in between? In order to determine and realize these goals, strategic planning is likely the most valuable investment a business can make.
The first thing SP will do is to reconcile the professional and personal visions for a company. It will help firmly and clearly establish a company’s definition of success and prioritize that definition as the company’s primary objective. Such strategies will include long and short term plans, returns on investment, the differentiation between the plan and actuality, and forecasting the future of the company, its competitors, and role in the marketplace.
Successful businesses operate in a culture where there are clearly-defined, uniform goals that have potential to benefit everyone. By consolidating the goals from the top of the organization to the bottom, it’s easier to communicate the message to everyone within the organization, so that all employees become catalysts for the company’s success.
Allocation of Resources
SP ensures the allocation of resources so that every decision -- from personnel to spending to marketing -- is made with a singular goal. Resources are spent with intent rather than speculation. Additionally, every decision (both financial and non) will be adjusted to accommodate the goals of the business rather than individual departments.