One question we’re often asked is how businesses can leverage strategic planning to achieve their key overarching strategic outcome. Read on to find out how you can use your overarching strategy to succeed:
Strategic Planning for Business vs Business Planning
Business plans are often confused with strategic plans. In fact, these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. However, these plans are distinct from each other.
A strategic plan is a blueprint or vision of the future. It focuses on the company’s growth and considers external forces to craft a long-term direction. In other words, a strategic plan is the “big picture” – where the company wants to go and what it wants to achieve as a key player in its industry.
A business plan, on the other hand, delves into details and processes. Just as a strategic plan is the company’s blueprint, a business plan focuses on what needs to be done to achieve these overarching strategic outcomes. This includes cash flow targets, budgets, sales targets, employment targets, and HR targets.
Together, these elements make up the Now, Where, How Approach to planning for your business’s future.
Developing an Overarching Strategy for Your Business
Developing a realistic, growth-focused overarching strategy is key. One essential element of this that’s often overlooked is the development of a corporate vision.
Follow these steps to ensure you have a powerful vision for your business.
- Consider why your business exists.
Knowing and understanding your business’ purpose is powerful. It provides strategic direction and can aid decision-making in all facets of your business, from product selection to who you hire.
If you haven’t already, determine your business’ purpose. It will form a key part of your corporate vision.
- Dream far into the future.
Vision statements look beyond the short-term and into the future, typically beyond the 5- or 10-year mark. It imagines where the company might be in 10-15 years in an ideal world. This means that those involved in creating it should feel free to get creative and think outside of the box. There are no wrong answers when you dream big.
- Make your corporate vision compelling.
The idea of your corporate vision is to create a self-fulfilling prophecy where your team works toward your ideal business. This means that a great corporate vision must allow your people to dream big alongside you.
To do this, it should address questions like:
- Where are we today and where do we want to be in the future?
- What are our core values?
- How do we use our core values to create a better future?
- How can we make what we do purposeful and meaningful?
- What role do our human resources play in achieving this corporate vision?
Steps to Take With Your Corporate Vision in Mind
With your corporate vision in mind, you can start to flesh out your strategy to achieve it. To do this, you will look at the next five years and develop action steps for the next 12 months.
Your corporate vision can also provide direction so you can:
Ensure the right workers are in the right jobs.
Hiring the right workers into the right positions is important for any business looking to succeed. Your corporate vision can act as a compass for the workers you have. It will also help you to identify who to hire in the future and what needs your business will have.
Prioritise certain projects.
Wherever projects or tasks don’t align with or help you to achieve your corporate vision, this can act as a flag for you to consider whether it’s worthwhile spending time on it.
Create your budgets and business goals
Working toward your corporate vision should be the driver behind all your business goals. Use it to determine what you need to do today to build your dream business (and outstrip your competition) in the future.
A Final Note About Your Corporate Vision
It’s also important to remember that your corporate vision is not static. It should be reviewed regularly (at least annually) to ensure it is still relevant and inspiring.
Whenever it is updated, be sure to:
- Communicate the changes to the organisation regularly and through different means.
- Display it clearly within the company.
- Incorporate into all facets of your business, including hiring, internal communications, and external marketing or branding collateral.
Strategic Planning with Sharp Accounting
Sharp Accounting provides assistance with strategic planning as part of our business advisory services. We work with business owners to establish what’s holding you back and how you can overcome obstacles and challenges your business is facing. To find out how we can help your business, book your free 20-minute consultation.