Strategic Planning Thats as Easy as Pizza PieIn business, its not enough tosimply have a great idea,product or service and thenhope that success will find itsway to you.Successful businesses are builtaround a vision or purpose. Itswhat drives those within thebusiness to set out on a missionto achieve that purpose. Muchlike the old adage about how toeat an elephant (one bite at atime), the mission is much too "I brought you to this pizza joint,large to digest at once. It must Ralph, to present my alternative tobe broken down into smaller your how to eat an elephant strategicpieces. That process is strategic planning philosophy."planning.Though, for most businesspeople the thought of strategic Buy SmartDraw now andplanning is just as nauseating save $100 for a limited time.as the notion of eating anelephant.What we need is to eliminatethe elephant paradigm.Strategic planning should bemore like eating a pizza. Butcan it be that easy? Yes, it can;by combining a few simpleconcepts with visual strategicplanning tools from SmartDraw.Why Visual Strategic Planning?Top companies know that strategic planning is critical to their competitiveadvantage and long-term success. And the very best know that visuals are anessential part of each phase of the process-from data collection and pre-planningto action, implementation and measurement.By extending the use of strategic planning visuals to all members of the team, the
process can be up to six times more effective!Only SmartDraw has the automation and ease of use to allow your entire team toquickly create ALL of the visuals required for smart and effective strategicplanning.Start by Thinking BigThe importance of grasping your companys big picture cannot be overstated. Startwith the vision of your enterprise. This is a future-thinking concept of how youwant the world to look. It may be emotive and should be long-term. A non-profitorganization may have as its vision "a world without poverty," for example. Part ofGMs corporate vision is to "lead the world in alternative fuel propulsion." SteveJobs once laid out his vision of "an Apple on every desk." Does a vision have to beachievable? Not at all. Its an ideal, but it should be one that motivates everymember of the organization to act in its direction.Propose a MissionWith the vision in mind, a mission should be established. The mission is thecompanys reason for being. It connects where the company is today with a visionfor the future. It should also help employees connect with customers, suppliers andeach other. The best mission statement is simple, direct and clear. Any employeeshould be able to recite it at any time. The idea is that everything each employeedoes, it does with the purpose of advancing the company toward its mission. CVSPharmacy, for example, has a very simple and clear mission: "We will be theeasiest pharmacy retailer for customers to use."
Set GoalsTony Robbins said, "Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into thevisible." Goals, sometimes called targets, are something that your business willfocus on achieving. They should be quantifiable and attainable.Examples of goals might be: To increase our subscriber base by 50% over the next five years. To increase our revenues by 20% per year over the next three years. To improve our customer retention rate from 40% to 60% by the end of next year.Just as a pilot must file a flight plan before setting out for his destination, abusiness should have a clear set of goals that are expressed as part of a writtenstrategic plan.Perform an Environmental ScanWhat is an environmental scan? Its an analysis of issues - both internal andexternal to the organization - that impact your goals and how you will setobjectives and tactics to achieve them.There are three basic parts of an environmental scan. 1. Internal - a look at the companys current situation including critical issues, strengths and weaknesses. 2. External - those issues outside the company such as competition, the economy and regulations that will affect its plans. 3. Summary of these findings in a SWOT diagram.
Elements of the environmental scan can range from simple to complex. They couldbe just informal discussions focusing on the conditions existing within thecompany. Perhaps they could involve more formal, structured exercises. Or theycould involve carrying out sophisticated analyses of the business environment andinternal operating circumstances. The classic SWOT analysis (an assessment ofexternal opportunities and threats as well as internal strengths and weaknesses)will summarize the results of the environmental scan, regardless of the complexityof your analysis.Develop a StrategyYou now have a grasp of the situation at hand; your mission is defined, goals areset and analysis of internal and external issues is completed. Now you have tofigure out how youre going to go about the strategy of achieving your goals.The key in developing a strategy, in fact the key to successful strategic planningoverall, is to be brutally honest and realistic in all facets of the process.
What avenues are open to you for attaining the goals youve set? What kinds ofactions and resources are required? Who does what, and when?Good strategic planning is an iterative process that may require reassessinginternal and external scan information and adjusting goals accordingly. Whencomplete, the result is a clear, concise and workable blueprint for your business tofollow in pursuit of its stated goals.Keep it SimpleSometimes, people are overwhelmed by the seemingly complex nature of thestrategic planning process. The bottom line is to keep it simple. The best way to dothat is with visual strategic planning using SmartDraw.Why SmartDraw?One-Click Microsoft Office® IntegrationInsert visuals in Word®, Excel®, and PowerPoint® documents with one click.SmartDraw is also SharePoint® enabled and imports Visio® files.
Automatic FormattingClick simple commands and SmartDraw builds your visual for you, automatically.Add or remove a shape and SmartDraw realigns and arranges all the elements sothat everything looks great. You dont need to be able to draw to use SmartDraw.Quick-Start TemplatesDozens of professionally-designed strategic planning examples make you instantlyproductive. Simply choose the applicable template and customize it to suit yourneeds.Get Started NowVisual strategic planning for your companys success is only a click away. Discoverfor yourself the powerful benefits of SmartDraw. Buy SmartDraw now and save$100! Now that youre part of the SmartDraw community we invite you to keep in touch with us on your favorite social networks.