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What are the basic steps to strategic planning?

Set long-term goals. Where do you want your company to be in five years? These should include objectives such as product line up, growth, sales and revenue goals, profit targets, and staffing plans, as well as more extensive goals and objectives.
Conduct a market survey and competitive analysis - As you will need to know what you’re up against and so you can plan your marketing and competitive strategy. Understand your target market’s dynamics, including demographics and the characteristics of your target audience (how, when and where do they buy your product or service). Competitive analysis is also vitally important, gather information on product, promotion, pricing and placement (distribution).
Assess where your company is now. Lay out exactly where your company stands on current revenues and gross and net profits. You will need to know where you are starting from to decide where you’re going and how to get there.
Do a SWOT analysis--Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. This causes you to honestly evaluate your firm’s strengths and weaknesses, and based on the market data you’ve gathered forces you to evaluate opportunities and threats.
Compare where you are now and where you want to be in five years. Is there a large gap between the two? Decide what steps would need be taken to enable you to bridge this gap given what you’ve evaluated in your SWOT analysis. If the gap is too large, consider reviewing and resetting your strategic goals.
Commit your strategic plan to paper, monthly for the first year, then quarterly for the second year and finally annually in the last three years. Meet regularly to review how you’re company is doing vs. goals. Share the plan not only with the management team, but with all your employees, and so everybody is working towards the plan - assign tasks at all levels.
Be flexible. Markets are constantly in a state of flux, with new competition emerging, prices shifting, currencies changing and global factors potentially affecting revenues and profits. A strategic plan should be reviewed every six months so updates can be made to reflect your current position as new information becomes available.

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New Strategy formulation Market Survey
Competitive analysis Emerging customer trends Goal and Objective Setting
SWOT Analysis Strategic Planning Plan Implementation
Five year planning Mission & Vision Statements Business Plan Writing

What is strategy development?

Strategy development, also known as strategic planning, is fundamental to creating and running a business and is practiced widely both informally and formally. it is capable of being changed in response to shifting market dynamics.
Strategy development sets specific goals and objectives and is the mechanism for drawing up a roadmap of ways to achieve them via action plans. The goals and objectives, when developed, can then be summarised into a mission statement and/or a vision statement. Every strategic plan should be capable of being changed in response to shifting market conditions and dynamics.
Are there any pitfalls? Yes - many strategic plans target high level initiatives and associated goals, but never get transferred into the day-to-day priorities and tasks that are needed to complete a successful plan. The level at which a plan is written along with word selection and terminologies used in the plan are both examples of ways to fail in translating your strategic plan into an understandable and easily executable vehicle for success. Often, plans are filled with conceptual terms which don't tie into day-to-day realities for the staff expected to carry them out.

"However beautiful the strategy, you should always look at the results"

Winston Churchill


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