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Strategic Planning Process Guide, Templates and Tools

Strategic planning process

The process is a systematic approach to building a roadmap for growth, profitability, and competitiveness.

Strategic planning definition

The definition of strategic planning is to create a plan that will guide an organization's future development, whether it be short-term or long-range. It involves identifying the goals and objectives of your business, as well as the challenges and threats to those goals, and then developing a plan to achieve them.

The goal of strategic planning is not only to improve your business' performance but also to help ensure its survival in today's competitive environment.

What is the purpose of a strategic plan?

A strategic plan is a document that sets forth the long-term goals of an organization. It helps the organization identify and prioritize its key objectives, assess its strengths and weaknesses, and develop strategies to achieve its goals.

A strategic plan also helps to align the organization's resource allocation with its goals.

How does a company create a strategic plan?

A company creates a strategic plan by first understanding its key stakeholders and what their priorities are.

The next step is to develop a comprehensive plan that aligns the company’s objectives with those of its key stakeholders. Finally, the plan must be updated on an annual basis to reflect changes in the company, its industry, and consumer preferences.

Strategic Planning Process Strategy Formulation

Our strategy should be focused on gaining market share in the key geographic regions in which we operate. We should also focus on increasing brand awareness and penetration among our target users.

In addition, we should continue to develop new products and services that will resonate with our target audience. Finally, we should strive to reduce operating costs while maintaining profitability.

Strategy development

1. Identify what you want to achieve

The first step in any successful strategy is identifying what you want to achieve. Once you have a specific goal in mind, it will be easier to develop a plan of action and measure success.

2. Consider your resources

Your resources are the things that you can use to achieve your goals. Identify the resources that you have available to you and prioritize them based on their usefulness. For example, money, manpower, and technology are all important resources.

3. Strategize based on your resources

Once you have identified your resources and determined which ones are most useful, it is time to strategize.

This means forming a plan of action and setting goals for each step of the plan. Make sure that the goals are achievable and realistic, and remember to account for any potential obstacles.

4. Monitor progress and adjust plans accordingly

Progress will always be a bit slower than we want it to be, but adjustments to our plans should be made as needed in order to keep the goals achievable. Be flexible and keep a positive outlook, because success is always within reach!

Define strategic mission

Mission and vision

A strategic mission is a specific, tangible outcome that is sought by an organization. This could be a goal that the organization sets for itself, such as increasing sales or improving customer satisfaction ratings.

It could also be something that the organization believes will improve its chances of achieving other goals, such as acquiring new customers or creating new products.

Define strategic objectives and goals

Strategic objectives and goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound, and meaningful.

Specific: The strategic objectives and goals should be specifically related to the company's overall mission or purpose.

Achievable: The strategic objectives and goals should be achievable within a reasonable period of time.

Measurable: The strategic objectives and goals should be quantifiable so that progress can be monitored and analyzed.

Attainable: The strategic objectives and goals should be achievable within the company's resources and capabilities.

Relevant: The strategic objectives and goals should be relevant to the company's overall business goals.

Time-bound: The strategic objectives and goals should be time-based so that they can be measured and reported in a timely manner.

Meaningful: The strategic objectives and goals should be meaningful to employees, customers, or other stakeholders.

Strategic planning process steps

Strategy template

The strategic planning process steps in its simplest form are:

  • The “Who” Factor
  • The “What” Factor
  • The “When” Factor
  • The “Where” Factor
  • The “How” Factor

The “Who” Factor: This includes identifying the customers, participants, and stakeholders that will be impacted by the strategic plan.

The “What” Factor: This includes understanding what needs to be accomplished and how it will be done.

The “When” Factor: This includes setting deadlines for when key objectives must be achieved.

The “Where” Factor: This includes determining where the business should compete and locating resources necessary to achieve success.

The “How” Factor: This includes creating a plan to achieve objectives and setting goals.

The “Who,” “What,” “When,” and “Where” factors should be combined together to form the four Ps of business planning-product, price, place, and promotion.

What types of information should be included in a strategic plan?

A strategic plan should include information on the company's industry, strategy, and market position; goals and objectives; current business condition; future growth opportunities and challenges; plans for marketing, sales, production, and technology; and financial resources.

Strategic Planning Process Management

The process is a framework for planning, organizing, and executing business strategies.

The strategic management process begins with understanding the company's competitive position and its potential opportunities. The next step is to create a business strategy that will enable the company to achieve its objectives.

The strategy must be consistent with the company's objectives and should take into account the company's resources, liabilities, and constraints. The strategy must also be responsive to changes in the environment and market conditions. Finally, the strategy must be evaluated and updated as needed.

Developing a business strategy

Strategy development template

When starting a business, it is important to develop a business strategy. This plan will outline how you want your business to function and what goals you hope to achieve. In order to create a successful business strategy, you must first understand your target market and what they want.

Business Strategy FAQs

Next, you need to create a product that meets these needs and then find an avenue through which to market it. Finally, you must track your progress and make necessary adjustments as needed.

There are many different ways to create a business strategy, and it may change along the way.

However, these are some key steps to get you started in Strategic Planning Process:

  1. Research your target market: What are their needs? What do they want?
  2. Create a product that meets those needs: Is it unique? Will customers want it?
  3. Market your product: How can you reach your target market most effectively?
  4. Track your progress and make necessary adjustments: As your business grows, so must your business strategy.

What are the benefits of creating a Strategic Plan?

A strategic plan can help to set the course for an organization and ensure that its long-term goals are met.

It can also provide guidance for making decisions about the organization's future, and it can help to identify areas in which the organization needs to improve.

Strategic planning process steps

There are a number of steps that can be taken in order to develop a strategic plan.

  1. Define the company's vision, mission and goals.
  2. Identify which markets the company will focus on and identify the key products and services it will offer these markets.
  3. Analyze past performance in order to identify areas where weaknesses have been identified and what changes need to be made in order to improve performance.
  4. Assess the current competitive landscape and identify any new or emerging threats.
  5. Develop a strategy to address these threats and capitalize on any opportunities that may exist.
  6. Plan and implement the strategy in order to achieve the company's objectives.
  7. Monitor and adjust the strategy as needed in order to remain competitive.
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Market analysis

Market analysis is the process of understanding how markets work and what buyers and sellers are looking for in a particular market. It helps businesses identify opportunities and challenges, decide what to produce, and set prices for their goods or services.

Market analysis can be broken down into four main categories:

  1. macroeconomic
  2. market trends
  3. industry analysis
  4. individual company analysis

Macroeconomic factors include overall economic conditions (such as inflation, unemployment rates, and GDP growth), while market trends refer to the recent actions or inactions of buyers and sellers that may have a lasting impact on the market.

Industry analysis looks at specific segments of the market and tries to determine what customers want and how producers can best satisfy these demands.

Individual company analysis focus on a single company and its products, looking at factors such as pricing, quality, and availability.

Human resources plan

A human resources plan is a strategic document outlining objectives and strategies for staffing the organization with the right people. It can help to ensure that an organization's needs are met in terms of skills, abilities, knowledge and experience.

A human resources plan should be tailored to the specific needs of the organization and should take into account industry standards.

The goals of a human resources plan may include:

  • attract and retain talented employees
  • creating a positive work environment
  • developing effective recruitment strategies
  • providing comprehensive training and development programs
  • managing employee benefits

Financial resources plan

A resources plan is a document that outlines the financial targets and strategies for a particular organization. It can be used to help track progress, decide where to allocate resources, and make decisions about investments.

Strategic planning in marketing

Strategic planning in marketing is the process of developing a plan that aims to achieve a specific objective or objectives within a specific timeframe.

There are generally four steps in strategic marketing planning:

Strategic planning process steps

  1. Define the problem or challenges that your business is facing.
  2. Identify and assess the key factors affecting your success.
  3. Make targeted decisions based on what you know and what you believe will work best to solve those problems or challenges.
  4. Execute your decisions, monitoring results to determine whether they meet your objectives.

Different businesses will face different problems and challenges, so it is important to tailor each step of the strategic planning process to fit the specifics of your business.

The following are some key factors you should consider when crafting your strategic plan:

  1. Your market: What is your target market? What do they want, need, or expect from you? How can you best reach them?
  2. Your product or services: Do you have the right product or services for your market? What features does it need to appeal to your target market? What price should you charge?
  3. Your organizational structure: How will you combine operations and marketing functions within the company? Will you outsource some or all of your marketing efforts?
  4. Your financial resources: How much money do you have to spend on marketing and advertising each year? How will you allocate that money among different channels (media, direct mailing, etc.)?
  5. Your marketing goals: What specific objectives do you want to achieve with your marketing efforts?
  6. Your timeline: How long are you prepared to commit to achieving your objectives?
  7. Your resources: How many people do you have working in your marketing department, and what skills and experience do they have? How much money can you realistically afford to spend on marketing each year?
  8. Your competition: What are the biggest brands in your industry, and how are they marketing their products? What are their strategies for competing with you?
  9. Your target market: Who is your primary target market, and what factors do they consider when making buying decisions? What do they want, need, or expect from your product or service?
  10. Your industry: What trends are affecting your industry, and how will that affect the way customers buy and use your products or services? What new technologies are being developed in your field, and how might they impact your business?

Tracking is key to successful strategy execution – Download KPIs Templates

Product development strategy

The product development strategy is deciding upon the specific products that will be created and how they will be developed.

This includes defining what needs to be addressed and what features will be included. It also includes estimating the time and budget needed to achieve the desired results.

Service development strategy

  • Planning and developing a strategy for delivering desired customer service levels
  • Developing a delivery plan and timeline to meet customer expectations
  • Evaluating effectiveness of service delivery against customer satisfaction goals
  • Configuring and maintaining necessary communication channels between customers, team members, and management
  • Monitoring and adjusting service delivery as needed

How can a company use its strategic plan to achieve its business goals?

Strategy plan

A company can use its strategic plan to achieve its business goals by specifying the target markets it wants to reach, the products and services it wants to produce, and the timeframe for achieving these objectives.

The strategic plan also provides guidance for marketing, purchasing, and other activities essential for reaching the business goals.

How often should a company update its strategic plan?

There is no one answer to this question since it depends on the company's specific needs and goals. Some companies may only need to update their plan every few years, while others may do so annually.

Ultimately, it is up to the company's leadership to decide what frequency is appropriate for them.

What are the components of a successful strategic plan?

A successful strategic plan includes a clear purpose, measurable goals, action items, and timeline.

How do you create and execute a successful strategy?

The best way to create and execute a successful strategy is to ensure the following:

  1. You have a clear understanding of your company’s business and customer needs.
  2. You have a well-defined, achievable goal for your strategy.
  3. You have measurable metrics for tracking progress and success.
  4. You have a team of individuals who are committed to the strategy, and who are able to communicate and collaborate effectively.

Strategy implementation

The strategy implementation phase is the process of translating the business vision and objectives into specific plans and actions.

This can be done through a number of methods, such as developing detailed business plans, creating detailed action plans, or setting up prioritized project lists. In order to properly execute the strategy, it is important to establish clear goals and objectives for each stage of the process, as well as a timeline for achieving these goals.

Additionally, it is important to develop systems and procedures in order to track progress and ensure that the strategy is being executed as planned.

The strategy implementation phase can be divided into the following stages:

  1. Planning and development
  2. Implementation
  3. Monitoring and evaluation

How can you ensure that your strategy is successful?

There are a number of ways to ensure that your strategy is successful. Some include ensuring that the strategy is realistic, developing a clear plan, setting specific goals, and having accurate expectations.

Additionally, it is important to provide regular feedback to team members and track progress regularly.

What are the objectives of a strategic plan?

The objectives of a strategic plan are to map out a company's long-term course, identify the key challenges and opportunities facing it, and develop strategies to address them.

The plan also provides guidance for making decisions and setting priorities.

How can companies evaluate their own performance against their strategic plan?

This is a difficult question. There are many ways to evaluate performance against a strategic plan, and the most effective approach will vary depending on the company and its specific circumstances.

Some common evaluation measures include:

  • Measuring actual results against targets
  • Assessing how well the company achieved its vision, mission, and goals
  • Examining how well the company performed relative to its peers

What challenges do businesses face when implementing a strategy?

The most common challenges businesses face when implementing a strategy are finding a good strategy, putting in the time and effort to execute it, and adjusting as needed.

What are some factors that can disrupt a company's strategy?

  • Financial stress: When times are tough, many companies pull back on investments and expansion plans.
  • Political instability: Crises can lead to major changes in laws and regulations that affect a company's business.
  • Technology change: As new technologies emerge, companies must constantly update their strategies to stay ahead of the competition.
  • Economic recession: A downturn in the economy can create a challenging environment for businesses, rouse fears among investors, and decrease demand for products and services.

What is adaptive planning, and how does it help organizations stay on track?

Adaptive planning is a technique that helps organizations stay on track by continuously modifying their plans in response to changing conditions.

This can be done through changing the goals and objectives of the plan, adjusting resources allocated to various tasks, or altering the timing of when specific tasks should be completed.

Adaptive planning can also help identify potential problems early on and make necessary adjustments to prevent them from becoming bigger issues down the road.

By constantly adapting, organizations are more likely to achieve their goals while minimizing overall costs and chances for success are increased when adaptive planning is combined with tools that help identify and track progress, such as and .

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By following the Strategic Planning Process, you'll be on your way to creating a solid business plan that will help you achieve your goals.

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