The Importance of Strategic Planning
Strategic planning is a necessary part of doing business. It's important to create a direction for where you want your business to go. Part of strategic planning is having a long term vision for your organization, where do you want to be one, two and five years from now? It is easy to get caught up in the day to day of operations and forget to plan for the future.
A S.W.O.T. analysis is a great tool to utilize for strategic planning exercises. "S" stands for strengths. Making a list of all the current strengths that your business has allows you to know where your competitive advantages are. "W" stands for weaknesses. Have a separate area to write down the areas of improvement in your business. Once you know what you are not good at, you can create a plan to improve those areas. "O" stands for opportunities. Adding the things that your business can potentially capitalize on can help in many areas including finding new ways to increase profits. "T" stands for threats. Threats are any external thing that can antagonize your organization such as; negative industry publicity, lawsuits or supply shortages.
Going through an exercise like this will create visibility so you know what areas to work on, any costs that may be necessary to make changes happen and will allow you to know how to budget for future planning. Having a roadmap is the key to having successful longevity. After all, you worked so hard to start your business or run your department, make sure you have ample plans for the long term.
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