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Why Strategic Planning is a BuzzWord

Digital Marketing
Skyler Womack
Jennifer Lockemeyer
May 6, 2022
(5 min.)
Why Strategic Planning is a BuzzWord

Working through a strategy planning process creates the blueprint and identifies material needed for your company to grow. Setting overall mission goals and revenue goals for the next 10 years of business will allow everyone to work toward common targets and build up the same vision. Without having this process in place, staff can develop their own ideas about projects to pursue based on differing priorities. This creates tension between departments and perceived strains on resources. Furthermore, internal fragmentation of priorities can weaken your brand’s image and perception.

We want to help you design a plan for everything you plan to build! Here’s a blueprint for strategic planning you can trust. 

Step 1: Define your mission in measurable short term and long term goals. This is often accomplished through settings that allow for all voices to be heard and ideas to be shared without editing or commentary. Set the rule for the meeting that all ideas have equal value. Take your mission statement and add in “how”, “when”, and “in-order-to” phrases. Use a whiteboard, sticky notes, or a virtual brainstorming medium like Miro to visually represent and categorize ideas. Next, you will collaboratively determine time frames for each goal. These conversations may happen through a series of meetings and may necessitate break-out groups with someone designated as the reporter. Now you have a floorpan for all the expansion projects you’re planning for your company. In this step, you’re asking, “What does our goal look like— do we have a common vision?”

Step 2. Once you have your floorplan set in stone, you can can begin to set targets. Your company maybe need to reexamine budgets to allow for follow-through on new priorities. Ultimately, you can only build as big as the materials you have. At this point, you will need to present your goals and budgets to your Board, relevant stakeholders, and grantors (if applicable). It is also wise to allow donors and beneficiaries to have buy-in for the sake of accountability and to also ensure they will feel satisfied with the end goals. The process of gaining their insight may look similar to step 1 in the process— it may look like focus groups or surveys. Be prepared to circle back and plan for modified or new goals. Ask: Is our plan feasible and amenable to common interests? 

Step 3: Once you have set goals for your company, you can begin to establish initiatives, projects, and partnerships that will help execute the ideas and reach your revenue goals. These will be the pillars providing structural integrity to your ideas. This is where your mission statement becomes actionable by answering the “how,” “when,” and “in-order-to” questions. Your programs are where your internal strategic plan begins to work— providing services to customers and beneficiaries. Be sure your company has ways of capturing results and outcomes in measurable ways so that you can track your progress and continually measure it against your vision. Ask: Is our success tracking? Is the house we’re building true to the blueprint we drafted? 

We know that planning ahead for the next five, ten or twenty years of your business may seem daunting. But “great things are accomplished by a series of small things brought together” (Van Gough). Once you have a clear blueprint mapped out, each member of your team can begin using their unique tools and skills to build your brand brick by brick.

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