A strategic plan is typically focused on mid to long-term goals and explains the basic strategies for achieving them.
The purpose of strategic planning is to set overall goals for your business and to develop a plan to achieve them.
So you need to make sure that you conduct a thorough analysis of both your business and your market.
There are a range of strategic models that you can use to help you structure your analysis.
You should balance your vision for the business against the practical realities of your current position.
You need to take into account the implications of any changes, such as increased investment in capital and other resources.Spending time on identifying exactly where you want to take your business - and how you will get there - should help you manage those risks and take charge of the growth process.As your business becomes larger and more complex, strategy formulation will need to become more sophisticated.Responsibilities and resources need to be assigned to the right people and you need to keep on top of the process.Try to find people who show the kind of analytical skills that successful strategic planning depends upon.The document that contains the strategic plan is not what is valuable; it's the information within it and the process used to create it, that is then SHARED and COMMUNICATED with the rest of your team.A great strategy is most often re-evaluated on an ongoing basis (yearly or quarterly, for example), rather than being a static document just sitting in a binder.A SWOT analysis identifies the internal and external factors that are favourable and unfavourable to achieving a business goal: Growing a business can pose some considerable personal challenges to the owner or manager, whose role can change dramatically as the business grows.Effective strategic planning involves challenging the way that business has been done up to this point.Strategy is about choices: knowing what to do as much as knowing what not to do.Your strategic plan tells your people what they should be doing so that they don't have to worry about doing the wrong things, or having to go to a manager every time there is a decision to make.