Are you unsure about the details of strategy planning? After you read through this page, you won’t be anymore! Read on.
Let’s not start this piece with wisdom on business. Yes, we understand it is an article on planning and how to best strategize it. But here’s the fun fact: the road to a successful business is often similar to that of life. The hurdles are equally difficult, and the problems are equally unique. One moment you think you are afloat, only to find moments later that there are two holes in your boat which you got to patch up at the earliest. Well, that’s in short, life for you! However, here lies the catch. That sentence can be set in stone for any business as well.
For life and for businesses to thrive and flourish, one element is absolutely necessary: planning. Careful and observant strategy planning refers to the minute studying of the ground reality, and going about everything else, taking the core reality as your locus. In this fast-paced, competition-ridden world, it would be a fool’s paradise to think that only blind hard work can help you achieve the desired success everyone deserves. That ever since social media came to the fore, the tables have turned and the rules of the game have changed. Today, one won’t be able to stand their ground without extensive studying, planning, and mapping their goals, and working towards them consistently and steadily.
This piece is about the importance of strategies in business and how any strategy planning leads you to the pillars of success. The idea behind any strategy planning should be to consider every newly introduced rule of business, also accommodating the older ones, and turn them all into one’s own advantage. It is not advisable to think of strategic business planning to be a separate entity that only experts can handle. That would be an extreme misconception and would ultimately lead to loss of revenue as well as a loss of company relevance in accordance with the changing demands of the market.
Much like litmus tests from our high school days, proper strategy planning entails a written document that has detailed everything there is to form a highly functional business module. In other words, a strategic plan comprises every meticulous aspect of a blueprint of company goals, the ways to achieve them, and why they have been deemed important. It is this blueprint that goes on to form the skeleton of an organization and situating the needs of the same.
While we will delve into the details of the importance and relevance of strategy planning, it is primarily important to have a simple and crisp definition of the phenomenon in mind. It is important to note that based on the planned module, every other function of the organization would be decided upon. So, finalizing one all-rounder strategy which covers all the nitty-gritty of businesses, helping all these elements to move together and realize their full potential forms the core of a strategic plan.
Social media, in itself, is an elaborate universe of algorithms, reactions, speeches, videos, infographics, and most importantly, information. Therefore, social media marketing, by definition, means navigating these spaces and interludes of computer programs, algorithms, internet traffic, etc. It is the process of getting one’s brand image known and visible by applying various strategies which translate into profit, fame, and scope of extensive product/image development. Let’s look at the avenues that this mode of marketing gives us:
Without goals, everything is white space. Forming proper goals in like drawing the first lines of a sketch, and where imagination is yet to brew its magic. However, goals that are set need to be borne from ground reality, and the rest is mere daydreaming. But how to distinguish between reality-based goals and the ones which seem achievable and feasible, but aren’t in real life. This is where proper strategy planning comes into play.
If we consider the company as one large ship, clearly set goals are like anchors of the ship. However difficult the situation gets, having a set of strong, predetermined anchors in place, will prevent the ship from swaying and drifting. And with proper navigation through the currents, reaching the next shore would not be a difficult feat to achieve.
Therefore, the idea behind proper strategy planning is primarily the hunting of clear cut reality-induced goals. It is only when the goals are set, can the path to reach them be determined. It is noteworthy to mention that an articulate strategic plan acts both as a path as well as the road map. It is in itself, the vision as well as the means to achieve the same. Time and again we tend to lose focus on the end game, by focussing too much on the goals. But with a proper strategic plan in place, it will keep hinting you to look at the vast scenario unfolding out there.
Yes, of course, this is what every business owner expects in their minds. When the first step of goal defining is complete, setting the course to achieve them begins. And once you begin to point towards the long arduous task of achieving the set goals, another process immediately starts. It is the honest reviewing of company resources and where it falls short, and also the strengths which can be relied on.
Understanding the meticulous details of one’s own organization entails a clear realization of the organizational culture and milieu, what is important within the domain of your company, and also what is the best possible means at your disposal at any given moment. So, in a way, careful strategy planning will expose every important dialogue about the betterment of an organization.
But this is only half of the difficult war out there. Once the avenues of dialogue open, what remains is understanding the implications of these dialogues. Working in a rapidly changing business scenario, navigating government regulations, advanced and upgraded technology, high-quality think tanks, and last but not least, constantly evolving workplace demographics. These are, in combination, all the governing aspects of any business module, and any change in strategies must include all these factors. Otherwise, what remains won’t be a carefully chalked out strategy but one that falls short of reality.
You must have read before that magic always happens outside one’s comfort zone. And any strategy planning forces you to think outside the comfortable arena of problem-solving, brainstorming ideas, and checking out the results of newly applied strategies.
While we understand how important it is to perfectly execute the aforementioned tasks, rethinking these aspects aligning with new challenges is what serious modes of strategy planning do. The practical application of posed ideas is crucial in the process of learning to think outside the comfort zone. Some practical examples of sudden challenges include:
You may have been planning a product for long. But a few days before you drop the news of its release, your rival company has already developed and publicized the product. In such a strange scenario, how would you respond?
Another issue which is equally relevant, but very few people pay heed to it is the change in technology. Strategy planning without considering the entire gamut of technology at one’s disposal is like eating half the fruit. So, when there is a sudden change in demand for the advancement of technological forces, how would you respond?
Finally, without giving equal attention and care to the feedback mechanism, no business can thrive in the long run. So, the cases of strange yet compelling requests of your consumer base are in ardent need to be handled with care and sophistication. With the instant feedback mechanism at play, the challenges of businesses have eased on one hand, and gotten difficult on the other. Strategy planning must incorporate all these spaces which usually fall outside the purview of generic vision.
These aforementioned situations are some of the sudden challenges that businesses keep facing every day. To rise above them is the primary task of any strategic plan. Moreover, it’s only when a company can keep its daily operations perfectly afloat, can it think of development and facing the mightier challenges.
It is important to remember that in an investment-favoured world, there are stakeholders of the company who don’t usually come to notice. As the traditional modes of industries and businesses have evolved to an ultra-fast and highly secured and connected business pool, employees and investors take home almost equal credit in running the finances of a company.
It is this giant permutation of numbers, and immense flow of cash that regulate the share prices of most businesses. The traditional commerce of money-product-money has given way to money-money-money, and any company which has made its fortune, now invests in the share market. The idea is to maximize revenues without the risk of ‘being in business’. To secure the performance of assets, there is a constant flow of liquid cash from the general public and small to medium-range investors. It is these funds that help keep businesses afloat during times of financial emergencies.
Once a meticulously designed strategic plan is informed to the other stakeholders of the company, they begin to understand their role in the organization. Owning a business has as its central foundation stone, collaboration with others. A strategy plan is there to ensure that all the people involved in reaching the company vision are on the same page.
While all these strategies are a form of passive advertising, there is this last resort which has its roots in traditional advertising. The fact is, social media is the most efficient space where people would see your ad. More than television, radio or print, people are always hooked to the different social media platforms. Consequently, with the instant feedback and sharing mechanisms at hand, there is a greater chance at propagating your ad via social media channels than via traditional media.
Moreover, running social media campaigns allow you to reach an audience which you may have never even considered worth exploring. Social media reach invites dialogue, and sincere dialogue is the foundation of any successful business.
A balanced strategic plan, apart from everything else, reconciles and aligns the two lives that any business owner leads. It is important to remember that the owner, or the board of directors are the primary gatekeepers and think tanks of any organization. The idea is to create an organizational and hierarchical unity within that unit of control, so that the personal visions of the people involved completely merge with the long term organizational goals.
Moreover, any strategy planning needs to focus on the ideas and intentions of the owners, on whose capital everything rests. Only after asking the important questions of those involved in the future of the business, can a self-sustainable strategic plan be chalked out. The mundane activities of any business demand equal attention, making it both an act of labour, love, and not to forget, perseverance. A clear-cut business strategy primarily focuses on personal goals, expectations, and philosophy of life of the primary stakeholders. Only after a clear understanding is established, will the liaison between the organization and the highest control unit get to the same page.
Additionally, any strategic plan has in its foundation a strong overriding aspect which also forms the backbone of organizational unity. It is this factor that is unique to every company and only by sufficient brainstorming about all the pros and cons of the company, can this specific guidepost success factor be found out. Technically speaking, it is known as Driving Critical Success Factor. There can be more than one DCSF for a company, let’s say, company location. Any change to the DCSF hints at fundamental changes within the management, employees, business opportunities, etc.
DCSFs also provide you with an understanding of the net progress of a company. So, starting from strategy planning to the identification of DCSF, the ramifications of a flexible and constantly evolving strategic business plan is not just crucial, but elementary to company development.
So, here we are at the end of this illustrious piece that details about the various ways a strategic business plan regulates business goals, aligns the stakeholders on the same page, and streamlines the workflow procedure.
In this technology-driven world where the attention span of humans continues to decrease, a proper business strategy isn’t just mandatory, but the very trump card of development and exponential profits.
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