Updated: Dec 1, 2022
With the New Year just around the corner – now is the time to look back and look forward to ensuring a successful 12 months ahead.
Carve out some time now to work on strategic planning. Take a formal or casual approach to set your course for a successful year. This is your vision for the near future and a roadmap for what you hope to achieve in 2023.
Review 2022 with all of its ups and down to determine your future goals during this process. Come up with benchmarks to help you measure your progress. Specifics are your friend when it comes to setting long-term goals.
Look back over 2022 first to review every aspect of your organization, from marketing to budgeting and programs, and assess what worked and what did not. Also, look at your strategic plan for 2022 and incorporate some of it into your new plan. Use data on hand to find realistic steps forward.
Digging into the data from the past year is a tool to help you imagine your company's future. Identify any gaps you find or additions needed, including projects, areas of service, and new objectives. How can you improve, support, and expand existing programs? Determine how you can embody your mission statement in the coming year.
Think in measured terms about how you will achieve each objective, being very specific. This will allow you to assess how close you are to achieving your desired outcomes as the year progresses.
Set timelines for achieving your goals by a specific date, quarter, or month.
Take stock of where your company currently stands before setting your goals. Answer these questions: What business goals do you have for 2023? How is your business performing today? What is the best way to meet your goals?
Follow These Steps
Spell it out – The first step in strategic planning is determining where you are headed. Be as specific as possible. For example, how much do you want to increase sales? How will you accomplish that?
Take stock of your vision for the company, your mission, and your values. What do you see when you look at the future? Your mission is the specifics you would like to accomplish, whether that is installing 30 more roofs in the next 12 months or winning 15 new bids. Your personal values set the way you run your company, how you treat your employees, and the experience you give your customers.
Your strategic plan will affect everything in your business, from your services to how many new employees you hire.
Perform a reality check. Success can mean many things, so determine what it means for you. Once you have analyzed where you want to be, figure out where you stand now and what it will take to reach your goals.
Think past just money. What programs do you have in place to help your employees grow professionally? How will you get involved in your community? How will you improve your business, so it is more environmentally friendly?
Determine Your Focus. Once you have analyzed where you are, it is time to figure out how to get to where you want to be. Narrow the focus by choosing your priorities and the order in which to proceed. Assess your resources and capabilities to target and plan. Work toward your strengths, choosing what you will focus on first.
Do not be afraid to reject what you do not think will work. Keep your company's vision and purpose in mind as you come up with ideas. Shelve the ideas for which you do not have the resources. Zero in on ensuring you have the right people, facilities, money, and time to implement your strategies. Do not plan what you know you cannot accomplish—plan for the accomplishments.
Do not be afraid to follow through on ambitious plans. Strategize on how to get there, if not now, then in the future. Focus on growing your business, improving the services and products you offer, and improving how you run your business.
Now, for the big challenge – implementing your strategic plan. Implement your strategy. Execute your ideas making changes as needed, and monitor their effects. Determine when and how you will address each part of your plan. It is helpful to delegate and assign responsibilities, deadlines, activities, and budgets.
Strategic planning is not a one-and-done. It is an ongoing process. Evaluate how the plan is working. Moving forward, do not be afraid to shift directions if something is not working out. Do not be afraid to change your operations if you deem that necessary.
Your strategic plan is an exercise that can benefit you throughout the year. Make it a priority by keeping it active during office meetings and sticking with calendar goals. Keep your objectives at the forefront.