What is Strategic Planning ?
Strategic planning encompasses a broader concept of a business plan where projections to be made go beyond financial planning and current market forecasts.
Defining your Business Objectives- The process starts by clearly defining your business objectives, aside from the concept of profit making. This may sound vague but as an example, your other business objective can be as simple as stating your company's vision or mission; e.g. "To be recognized as a certified and reliable provider of Eco-friendly toys."
Assessing your Business Strengths and Weaknesses- Strategic planning also involves formulating business strategies based on your internal set-up as well as the external factors that can affect your business. This entails assessing your strengths and weaknesses of how you run and operate your business. If your trade is home-based, one of your possible weaknesses is that your business lacks the image that can project its capacity to meet increased production demands. This means that you have to make sure that there is an existing and viable market for your product.
Effective business strategies mean creating an advantage by keeping your investment exposure at low levels. In so doing, it will bring you financial independence because you can build your business and its image without relying on investors for future growth.
However, all these entail evaluating external factors such as technological advancements, federal environmental regulations, global trade and foreign exchange rates, employment regulations, political unrest and the likes. These external factors may affect the demand or marketability of your product.
Analyzing your Business Industry- In analyzing your business industry, what you should consider first is whether the full-scale manufacture of your product will be capital intensive or if there are possible alternatives, substitutes or financial grants available to meet the potential demands of the industry.
Is your product susceptible to obsolescence in the light of technological developments and advancements or can your product hold its own by targeting consumers who are averse to the effects of technical gizmos? You will also have to consider your competitors and how you intend to compete against well-established brand names. These are only some of the areas to consider, in analyzing how you stand to gain in your chosen business industry.