Nobody knows what the future holds. So, the best way to predict it is to build it yourself!
“The determination of basic goals and objectives, in the long term, as well as the adoption of courses of action and allocation of resources to achieve the goals”
But how do you achieve these goals, objectives, and courses of action? In other words: how to elaborate on a company’s strategic plan template , step by step?
Competitive advantages need to be guided by 4 elements. They should be:
- Valuable: someone is interested in paying for them because they see value
- Rare: not everyone can offer
- Difficult to imitate: other competitors will have difficulty doing the same
- Organizable: it is possible to create a business model and earn money from them
- Therefore, the preparation of strategic planning aims to find that competitive advantage and organize it in a business model.
See below the five steps of how to prepare a strategic plan for a company and everything that needs to be done to determine its differentials, goals, and objectives in a practical and assertive way.
Among these goals, for sure, one of them will be the sales goal. And to achieve it, good management of the sales team is essential. Download our free e-book: Guide for the efficient management of the sales team and reach your goals as soon as they are determined at the end of the strategic planning process.
How to prepare a company’s strategic planning step by step
The elaboration of strategic planning involves determining a business model, which is composed of 5 basic elements:
- Target market and positioning
- Value offer
- Culture, values, and behaviors
- Structure, value chain, and processes
- Competitive advantages
But to arrive at these strategic definitions of the business model, it is necessary to study the internal and external environments of the company, in addition to the competitive environment.
Step 1: Analysis of environments
The analysis of the internal and external environments is done through the traditional SWOT analysis, which determines the strengths and weaknesses of the company, by looking at the internal environment (which the company can control), and the opportunities and threats from the external environment (under which the company has no control).
To better understand how to do the SWOT analysis, check out these posts from our blog:
- Everything you need to know about a company’s SWOT analysis
- SWOT analysis definition: how to sell more with a matrix
- SWOT Matrix: how to do your company’s strategic analysis
To define the competitive environment, you should use Michael Porter’s analysis of competitive strengths, in which you should consider:
- Customers’ bargaining power
- The bargaining power of suppliers
- The threat of new entrants (new competitors)
- The threat of substitute products
- The level of rivalry between established competitors
Step 2: Define the target market and positioning
With the data from these two analyzes in mind, you will already be able to prepare a strategic plan for your company.
Therefore, it is time to define which market the company will be able to enter with more ease, using its strengths to seize opportunities and trying to adapt to the competitive environment.
It is important to remember that a target market is defined by both the characteristics of consumers and the product or service that is offered to them.
Thus, there is a market for the distribution of sportswear for teenage girls, which is not the same market for the distribution of sportswear for adult men.
Likewise, there is a bear market for adult men and another segment of the wine market for adult men.
To define this market, the Ansoff Matrix, also known as the Product X Market Matrix, is used.
With it, you must determine whether your company will operate in a new market or in a market in which it already operates and whether it will do so with new products or services or with those you already have, which leads to 4 possible market strategies:
- Market penetration: Existing products in existing markets
- Product development: New products in existing markets
- Market development: Existing products in new markets
- Diversification: New products in new markets
Step 3: Determine the value proposition of your product or service
For example: if you chose to launch a new product, say a new brand of cutting machines, as it already operates in the equipment market for the textile sector, and aims to reach high-end customers, you must position yourself with a value proposition based on a product of quality and efficiency, which costs a little more, but has the most modern technology.
Its value in the eyes of the customer is in the differential that cutting-edge equipment can achieve.
Step 4: Structure of the value chain and processes
At this point, you need to determine how the strengths and opportunities you discovered in step 1 can help deliver that value from your offer, presented above.
In our example, your factory possibly already uses automated processes and other production techniques that guarantee product quality.
To design the most suitable processes in an organization, the use of successful business process analysis software is indicated.
Step 5: Define Mission, Vision, and Values
The mission is the reason d’être of a company. Vision is what she intends to achieve given a period of time, as a milestone to be achieved.
Thus, the mission of the machinery company of our example could be: to offer high-end customers cutting machines of the most advanced technology.