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What is a strategic plan? Why do you need one?

What’s a Strategic Plan?  Why do you need one?

Would out set out to drive to a new destination without turning on your GPS? Business owners go to work on their business everyday not knowing what direction they’re taking. They're getting in their car and winging it. Because they don’t have a GPS telling them the steps to take to reach their short and long term goals.

A strategic plan is a formal document that outlines an organization's long-term goals and the actions and resources required to achieve those goals. It serves as a roadmap for an organization's future and helps to set priorities, allocate resources, and guide decision-making. A well-developed strategic plan typically includes the following key components:

  1. Mission Statement: A concise statement that defines the organization's purpose and what it aims to achieve.
  2. Vision Statement: A statement that describes the desired future state or long-term goals the organization wants to reach.
  3. Core Values: A list of the fundamental beliefs and principles that guide the organization's actions and decisions.
  4. Goals and Objectives: Specific, measurable, and time-bound targets that the organization aims to achieve. These goals should align with the organization's mission and vision.
  5. SWOT Analysis: An assessment of the organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This analysis helps identify internal and external factors that can impact the organization's success.
  6. Strategic Initiatives: Detailed plans and projects that outline how the organization will achieve its goals and objectives. These initiatives often include action plans, timelines, responsible parties, and performance indicators.
  7. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Metrics and measurements used to evaluate the progress and success of the strategic plan.
  8. Resource Allocation: Information about how resources (such as budgets, personnel, and technology) will be allocated to support the strategic initiatives.
  9. Risk Assessment: An evaluation of potential risks and challenges that the organization may encounter in pursuing its strategic objectives, along with strategies for managing or mitigating those risks.
  10. Monitoring and Evaluation: Processes for regularly reviewing the progress of the strategic plan, making adjustments as needed, and ensuring accountability.

Strategic planning is a dynamic and ongoing process that helps organizations adapt to changing circumstances and remain competitive. It is essential for businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, and other types of organizations to set a clear direction and achieve their long-term objectives. Basically it’s a roadmap. Telling you how what steps to take to get your business from where it is today to where you want it to be in the future. A strategic plan does not have to be complicated. It always starts with where do you want your business to go.


Written by Darlene M. Ziebell  



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