Marketing a business requires a business strategy that covers all aspects of business - finance, competition, prospects and sales. In other words, strategic planning is indispensable for running a business successfully. This article will help you to understand and write a strategic business plan, using which, you will be able to develop a marketing strategy to promote your business online, and attract investors and partners.
Understanding a strategic plan
Managers and entrepreneurs often get so involved in short-term issues that they forget the main objectives of their organisation. A long-term business plan is required for taking a company from one level to another, year after year. Importance of a strategic business plan A strategic business plan serves as a framework for decision making, and for securing funding. Without a business plan, you may not be able to plan marketing and sales. A strategic business plan helps you in elaborating your business model, its goals and methodology to others. Performance monitoring and benchmarking cannot be done without a strategic business plan.
Strategic plan versus business plan
A strategic business plan is not the same as a business plan, as the former is a short document while the latter is a detailed version of the plan. Using a strategic business plan, you can create the framework of a business plan.
Precursor to a strategic business plan
Before attempting to create a strategic plan, you should identify the objectives and strategies of your business. A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis can simplify the process of creating a strategic plan. In short, you should clearly define the vision, mission, values, objectives, strategies, and goals of your business.
Areas to analyse Analyse your business across areas such as sales, marketing, distribution, promotion, support, management, systems, expertise, resources, operations, efficiency, capacity, processes, products, services, quality, pricing, feature, competitiveness, resources, R&D, costs, and organisation structure. In addition, you must also analyse the threats and opportunities for your business. Using the SWOT analysis, you can build on your strengths, resolve your weaknesses, exploit opportunities and avoid threats from competitors, market conditions and economy. Work with a business consultant Once your strategic plan is ready, you can work with a business consultant to polish the plan, and suggest modifications (if any). Remember, a business strategy is the foundation of a successful business.