The plan itself can be as simple and straightforward as the organization wants it to be, based on the way it normally makes its decisions.
The key is not what the plan itself looks like, rather how the conclusions are reached. In our experience in order for a business strategic development plan to be actionable – it must be a sincere effort by a group of knowledgeable individuals with the short and long term success of the organization in mind.
A plan for a strategic competitive advantage may also be included. Let’s face it, if the plan is perfect in every way but does not take into consideration what the market is saying, what your competitors are doing, and addresses ways around any possible competitive roadblocks, what real bottom line benefits does it create?
Most leaders agree that a business strategic development plan is a practical necessity.
Without plans in place, it is very easy for owners and managers to become blinded by immediate issues, losing sight of their long-term goals or objectives. Even the simplest most elementary plans can be used as a basis for action today and more detailed planning, when that is needed.
When it is properly written, the plan will explain the business to others, to give all the stakeholders both the big picture and somewhat of a road map to the future, even serving as a mission statement for the here and now along with the not too distant future. It can also serve to motivate people to do the right things and get them involved moving their area – large or small, in the preferred direction to achieve overall success.
The cornerstone of you business strategic development plan is the assessments made about your competition.
Everybody has competition and in order to succeed long term you must get and/or maintain a strategic competitive advantage. I know it’s simplistic to talk about competition, but I am not referring to whether or not you offer the same service for a better price or whether or not your company’s advantage is it’s cost leadership, whether or not your model is to offer “more” for an equivalent price, etc.
I am referring to the entire spectrum of competition you face, whether it is within your control to do anything about it directly or not. Most often when businesses are run effectively in accordance with a price, production, service, and marketing strategy they will get as much business as they are capable of getting on their own – through the things they have been doing right over the years.
Beyond what you can achieve yourself in the normal course of things – achieving superior competitive advantage is often a result of collaboration with savvy industry peers that results in the strategic implementation of strategies synthesized from an ongoing series of strategic conversations.
Many years ago a successful business owner told me that “it’s not the things you don’t know that get you in trouble, it’s the things you know for sure that are wrong” so consistently achieving your maximum strategic competitive advantages is most likely to result for having that same group of knowledgeable industry peers test your assumptions before you act on them.
When it comes to keeping your business strategic development process moving forward and keeping focused on your competitors, you should consider a regular process that keeps everything important on the boil.
That ongoing process is one that harnesses the power of your relationships in your industry and beyond, continually forcing you to consider alternatives, and cause you to take actions based on mutually determined sound judgements.
It has been my experience that an excellent business strategic development plan – one that includes actionable competitive analysis, is the result of one thing and one thing only! It comes from making better decisions. It’s that simple, not easy to do on your own however. In fact the most successful leaders among us, in every walk of life, systematically reach out to their hand-pick board of advocates and supporters for insights and advice.
You can have the same tools for creating your own strategic planning and marketing team, a no cost whatsoever. Simply go to www.b2bpeergroups.com and watch my 2 minute video. You’ll make better decisions about the directions you take and the plans you make with greater confidence, I promise.
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- Business Strategic Development (ebook)