Strategic Planning: Everyday Decisions Drive Return on Investment - dummies

Strategic Planning: Everyday Decisions Drive Return on Investment

By Erica Olsen

The benefits to strategic planning are intangible and show hard bottom-line return on investment (ROI). Every day, your work impacts aspects of your business. Following these tips can help you realize the true day-to-day impact of having a strategic plan in place:

  • Spend more time on high-impact, high-growth activities. These activities are where you want to spend as much time as possible. With these maneuvers, you spend less time spinning your wheels.

  • Think back on the past month: Were there any projects or activities you were part of directly or indirectly that didn’t actually move the organization forward because they were dead-end opportunities? Get rid of this dead weight as fast as possible!

  • Identify true opportunities versus false starts. If you know what you’re best at and where you want to go, you can more quickly identify true opportunities. Strategic planning helps you put the boundaries on your business. When you ignore extraneous distractions, you use your resources more effectively and more quickly to grow your organization.

  • Be proactive instead of reactive. Being in a reactionary mode all the time puts you one (or more) step behind your competition. Make sure that your strategic plan maps out proactive choices to propel your company forward. But be sure to react to customers when they provide feedback or comments that aren’t in sync with your way of business.

  • A complaint from a lot of clients is that they feel like they’re always trying to catch up. Stop running and get ahead of the change curve. If you have a strategic plan in place and you’re working on key strategic activities, you have a little more time to think about how to take advantage of market movement instead of always reacting to what’s going on in your environment.

    Internal advancement, such as in your career as a leader, can come from being involved in strategy development and using it as a true guide to your work.

  • Achieve your vision for success. You started your organization for a reason. You likely have a vision for your business. If you want to achieve your vision for success, you have to specifically figure out how you’re going to get there. Having a strategic plan makes success intentional.

  • Increase employee commitment. Strategic planning increases employee commitment — especially in this tight labor market. Helping your employees see the vision that you have for success and growth helps you work toward that goal.