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Strategic planning can be difficult, time-consuming, and most of all, annoying. But strategic planning is necessary for any business to grow and achieve its goals. And while most companies recognize its importance, too many strategically plan the wrong way.

The following are a few tips to get you started on the right path toward effective strategic planning:

Start With Your Goals.

Too many companies jump into the planning phase without first solidifying their goals. In other words, they plan, but they don’t know what they’re planning for. The first step for strategic planning must always be figuring out what the goals of the planning process are. Every employee involved in the process must be familiar with the specifics of the goals, which means it is crucial to lay everything out in a clear and concise way.

Depending on the extent of your strategic planning, you may even want to start with defining the mission and overall vision of your company. Why does your company exist and what is your purpose? Once you solidify this, you can then move on to creating concrete goals. This may seem obvious, but so many organizations tend to drift from their mission and end up setting goals that do not relate to the purpose of the company.

Moreover, be sure to create goals that are attainable and measurable. Your goals should be specific and quantitative so you can easily measure success.

Aim High, But Not Too High.

In addition to creating attainable and measurable goals, be sure you aim high and push your company to reach new heights. However, don’t aim too high; be sure to create realistic goals. After all, you need to be able to show key stakeholders that you are able to meet your goals; and this will be too difficult to do if you set unrealistic expectations.

The best way to avoid setting unrealistic goals is to conduct an analysis of your company’s performance over the past few years. What have you been able to accomplish and with what resources? Then evaluate your current resources, your industry’s current trends, and your competitive landscape to set realistic goals for the future.

Prioritize Good Communication.

Communication makes or breaks companies, and it can make or break a strategic planning process as well. Strategic planning usually involves changing many aspects of a company, so maintaining good and constant communication among key stakeholders is necessary to ensure a smooth and effective process.

There are many ways to ensure solid communication throughout your strategic planning process. Here are a few examples:

  • Hold weekly meetings for all employees to update them on the process and what they need to know.
  • Make sure managers constantly communicate important information with their departments.
  • Send out company-wide newsletters each week with relevant information about the planning process.

Ask Lots of Questions.

Strategic planning is a lot like consulting. To conduct an effective strategic planning process, you must obtain all the necessary information; you must learn about all aspects of the company and gain insight from leaders throughout the organization. And the best way to do all of this is to ask lots of questions!

Sit down with managers and leaders throughout your company and ask them about their perspective on whatever you are trying to accomplish. Go into each meeting with a list of questions and be prepared to ask lots of follow-up questions. Let each person speak his or her mind and give you all the information you need. It will be crucial for you – as a strategic planner – to gain insight from different perspectives as you begin your planning process.

Consider Getting Outside Strategic Planning Help.

Strategic planning can be difficult, as there are so many aspects to the process and each aspect can be quite complicated. It is also time consuming, and you may not have the time to carry out the proper steps for effective strategic planning.

Because of this, you may want to seek professional help with your strategic planning process. If you would like assistance from experienced consultants, please do not hesitate to reach out. Krowne Certified Public Accountants offer unparalleled financial guidance and professional services specifically tailored to our client’s needs. Please feel free to reach out to us at Krowne Certified Public Accountants by filling out the form on our contact us page or via phone at 818-831-6075. We would love to discuss your situation and help you. We look forward to hearing from you.

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