Strategic Planning Brings the Future into Focus
For many of us who lead our companies, it is a challenge to see much past next month, let alone three to five years into the future. We may feel that we are doing well just to put together a plan with objectives and a financial budget for our next fiscal year. Unfortunately, if we are totally occupied on a day-to-day basis or only looking ahead one year at a time, it is unlikely that we will chart a course that will optimize the future of our businesses. If we are going to have a truly successful business, we need to find a way to grow in spite of a natural attrition of customers or projects that is an ongoing reality in today’s business world.
We need to pause periodically and plan strategically. While this can be hard work and requires both time and money, it is necessary to bring a brighter and more vital future into focus. The objective of a strategic plan is to build a market and project road map that will not only extend historical and market strengths, but also broaden the portfolio of opportunities.
Acme Industries initiated a strategic planning process with key members of its management team at the beginning of 2012. The process began by understanding important trends and their future marketplace impact and how to build scenarios to uncover new opportunities. That was followed by a competitive analysis and the development of an opportunity matrix that gave a visual representation of extensions to current service offerings and current customers. An important filter for new opportunities was our Beyond Precision value promise that has successfully resonated with Acme’s customers and prospects. The final phase of the project was to identify the obstacles to change and ensure successful implementation of the strategic plan.
Acme’s management team engaged again in 2017 to update its strategic vision and explore new opportunities for expanding its services and diversifying its customer base. As the company did in its prior strategic planning process, the first year steps in the new strategic plan have been built into Acme’s annual plan with objectives and milestones for completion. By updating our strategic vision and plan we have brought our future into better focus so we can continue to grow and serve our customers well.