What You Need to Know About Strategic Planning

If you can’t beat your competition, avoid them. Strategic planning helps you face your competitors in the best way possible. How do you set yourself apart from the competition while maintaining your spot in the marketplace?Let’s take a look at strategic planning and what you need to know about differentiating your company and focusing on how you’ll achieve your goals.


Future predictions


Management is tasked with forward-thinking analyses. Can you predict and project what your clients want and need going forward? You best guest is all you can do; choosing a strategy (or strategic planning) means your decisions exclude other possibilities and options. This is a fearful stance for any executive.


To mitigate the uncomfortable position you find yourself in, you must make the hard choices others are unwilling to address. This won’t eliminate your risk, but increases your odds of success.


Planning for the future is the first step in strategic planning. Next, you execute the plan, monitor its effectiveness, and finally provide feedback to revise your strategy based on results and create a new plan for moving forward.


Strategic planning in a nut shell


Embrace fear and discomfort when strategic planning. If you’re comfortable with any part of the strategic planning process, you may not be stretching yourself far enough. Not reaching for the future is a trap that some fall into; those strategic plans fall flat. To create the best strategic plan for your organization, make the hard choices. While you can’t eliminate risk, you can increase your odds of success.


Your product/service is not the end-all, be-all that leads you to a perfect conclusion. Rather, it’s the focal point of thinking through what you need and want to achieve and then determining if it’s realistic to try.


Keep strategic planning outside your comfort zone to move forward.


Define your strategy and slide into planning


Strategic planning sounds hard. It illicits uncomfortable angst in many, and leaves some worried about their longevity with your company. Planning evokes the process of creating a blueprint of exactly how your company should proceed and what will result in profit-inducing activities. Anyone trying to predict that will be pulling hair out.


Help your strategic planners relax by focusing their attention and energy on what your customers want. How can you influence customers to consume more and generate the revenue your company wants? For example, in a perfect world, what do customers really want?


Final thoughts


Strategic plans all tend to look the same. Bust yours out of the mold by envisioning a process that includes a list of initiatives (e.g., what you want to accomplish) and how those initiatives should translate into sales/revenue/profit. Strategic plans become foundational when you affix a financial projection. Consider how you can strategize for up to five years; that’s the end zone of strategic planning that guides your company now and in the future to achieve your financial and other goals. The more thoughtful your strategic plan, the better your end results will be.


If you need help devising a strategic plan, contact Listing Partners for expert advice. We’ve helped hundreds of customers just like you create strategic plans that are forward-thinking and ambitious. Let us help you create a winning strategic plan.



VP Listing Operations at Listing Partners
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