December 30, 2019 | Written by Shannon Hewlko

The First Step in Your Strategic Planning Process

Strategic planning outlines business goals and can identify any barriers so that we can make appropriate recommendations.

When I work with new clients we often start with strategic planning. To run these types of meetings I’ve created a short, four-step process to help guide the discussion.

Step 1 – What does success look like?

Success can look different depending on the person, team, business, and relationship that you hope to develop.
Thought starters:
What does a successful relationship, project, or communication look like?

Step 2 – Business goals

A goal is the desired result you want to achieve. Below is a list of some areas where businesses like to set specific goals, select the ones that work best for you and your business.
Thought starters:

  • Sales / Revenue
  • Brand
  • Customer experience
  • Operations efficiency
  • Growth of business
  • Employee retention
  • Marketing

Step 3 – Business objectives

An objective defines the measurable action taken to achieve the overall goal. These are where we create a solid picture of what needs to be done to hit specific goals with timelines, due dates, and team responsibilities.
Thought starters:

  • Sales / Revenue: $X (Date)
  • Brand consistency (Date)
  • Customer experience: review customer journey, sales cycle, etc. (Date)
  • Operations efficiency: financial systems, technology features, etc. (Date)
  • Growth of business (Date)
  • Employee: employees in specific roles, culture, etc. (Date)
  • Marketing and communications: updated brand, messaging, website, events, etc.  (Date)

Step 4 – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats Analysis

This simple marketing exercise never gets old and for annual clients, I like to redo this every year. Always looking through the lens of: How can we highlight our strengths and are there any weaknesses that can easily be solved? How?
Next, I typically recommend completing a competitive analysis, check out how you can complete your own here!

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