Gain buy-in for your strategic plan

Use these essential steps to get staff, customers on board

Strategic Planning

While you work to make this your company’s best year ever, don’t forget a few essential exercises that will help accelerate the growth of your business. These steps are not always done by businesses, but they can be argued as most essential to achieving your business plan.

These steps involve strategically going through the process of creating, deploying and aligning staff to your plan. When this happens, your plan becomes much more effective and achievable.

Please use this article as a step-by-step guide to easily go through these exercises:

Step 1: Engage select staff beyond your leadership team in your strategic planning

It’s easy to do this. The following are different parts of strategic planning that they should be involved in.

  1. First, have them contribute to the SWOT you create. Your staff knows the ins and outs of your business just as much as, if nor more than, you do. They may uncover growth opportunities in areas of the business no one else is involved in. Sharing this type of input engenders mind share, alignment and synergies.
  2. It’s obvious that some of your staff deals with customers. Have them share thoughts on how to grow existing clients and strategies on how to find more ideal customers.
  3. Lastly, have appropriate staff analyze key competitors and devise strategies as to how to outperform them.

Step 2: Engage your trusted customers in your strategic planning

There is no better way to run a customer-centric company than to ask and involve your customers in your plans. Here are some tactics:

  1. Have customers you trust do a SWOT on you. This may uncover weaknesses and opportunities that your team may not catch due to being constantly ingrained in the business.
  2. While gathering SWOTs from your key customers, utilize that time to also find out about their current pain points related to their 2020 plan. Use their thoughts to form your plan. Remember, the best new product (or service) is one that the customer is already asking for and willing to pay for!
  3. Take this added facetime with a customer as an opportunity to sell existing products or services.

Step 3: Introduce your plan to staff

Use the results of your strategic planning session to create your plan. Then, share your finalized plan with your staff to gain excitement. Here are some notes for a successful rollout of the plan:

  • Prior to the rollout, come up with a list of questions that you think staff may have but may not ask.
  • Remember to address the “what’s in it for me” to staff because they will, by nature, ask it to themselves.

Step 4: Ensure a successful year by aligning staff to the plan

A business can have the best plan in the world, but if no one is aligning their actions to it, the plan won’t be achieved. One effective way of getting this alignment is through SMART Goals. Here is the process of implementing these goals:

  1. After the rollout mentioned in Step 3, have staff take a few days to determine their part in achieving the plan. Some may need help with this, and that’s OK.
  2. Work with them to turn their relevant thoughts into SMART Goals. There are many online resources and advisors that can explain the details about setting up SMART Goals.
  3. Check in with each staff member on a quarterly basis to ensure their goals are still aligned and on track to being achieved. When everyone starts to achieve their goals, then you will truly start to see your business grow.

I will challenge everyone who is coordinating or leading their business’s growth initiatives for the year to use these steps. Involve your customers when creating your plan so you can focus on growing with them. Engage and align your staff to help your business grow throughout the year. Use this guide now and for the years going forward.

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