Strategic planning is your roadmap to growth and success as a startup founder. Read this blog to learn the benefits of strategic planning for your business.
When you have an exciting new idea for a startup, it can be tempting to dive straight in and get it off the ground as quickly as possible.
While taking the time to make a strategic plan first means delaying the actual business activities you are looking forward to, the benefits of strategic planning far outweigh the time and effort you put into the planning.
Companies with a strategic plan in place are generally more successful than those without one.
- Strategic planning will help your business grow by making sure that staff and investors are all on the same page, working toward achieving your goals.
- Without a strategic plan, resources such as time, money, and labor will end up getting wasted on projects and tactics that do not support your business goals.
- Evaluating and optimizing your business operations are easier and more effective if you have a strategic plan.
Strategic Planning Resources for Startups
Think of a strategic plan as a roadmap to success — it will keep you focused so you know which directions to take with your business. A strategic plan ensures that every decision you make within your business will further your end goals.
Without a plan, your startup could be wasting a lot of time, money, and labor on things that will not actually help you get to where you want to be.
Strategic planning is an important process for any startup, but it is equally important for businesses that are more established. By defining your goals and setting out the best strategies to achieve them, these plans give you clear paths to follow in your business operations.
Top strategic planning resources to check out:
- Strategic Planning and Execution: This breaks down the planning process and explains how to put it into practice.
- This article on the importance of strategic planning for startups includes an exercise to help you determine the best way to leverage your company’s strengths when creating programs.
3 Benefits of Strategic Planning for Startup Growth
While strategic plans lead to better growth and success for startups, these are secondary consequences of several more immediate benefits.
Strategic planning has three main benefits for the day-to-day operations of your business:
1. Keeps Your Business on Track
You don’t want to waste time and effort on projects and activities that will not achieve your goal. That is why you need to have strategies in place to keep you focused on what benefits your business the most.
With a strategic plan, you will never find yourself planning projects randomly or reactively.
By creating strategies that directly relate to your goals, strategic planning gives you a guideline for the kind of work you want to be doing before you need to be doing it. The last thing you ever want in business is to find out down the road that what you have been doing does not work.
Strategies are specific, high-level plans such as “build more channel partnerships” or “improve customer loyalty.” Ideally, you want more than one strategy to rely on in case something doesn’t work out, but not so many that you spread yourself thin trying to cover them all. With strategies like these in place, making wise decisions about what tactics to use becomes easier because you know what those tactics need to achieve.
This will prevent you from getting distracted by new marketing trends or wasting time on projects that don’t align with your objectives. It will also keep your staff and investors on the same page. Everyone will know what they are working toward and how best to contribute their time and resources toward those goals.
2. Optimizes Your Resources
Once you have a focused, strategy-driven approach to business, you can invest your time, money, and labor into the things that really matter.
Companies will often go looking for the newest and best resources available to improve their business operations. The problem with this is that the greatest employees and the most innovative technologies cannot help you realize your goals if you do not have strategies in place. Instead, your work will go into efforts that cost more than they’re worth.
A strategic plan benefits your business by affording you a starting point for assessing your current resources and needs. If you know what you want to achieve, you can dedicate your resources accordingly.
Business plans will also make stakeholders more confident in your work. They can see that you are prepared and that you know how to use the resources they provide effectively. Besides, they will be more willing to give them as well.
3. Gives You Measurable Goals
Without goals and strategies, you can’t truly know what is working for your business and what is not.
You may be able to see how many customers you are gaining and retaining, how much money you are making, etc. However, there is no way to evaluate the usefulness of your processes and tactics.
Another benefit of strategic planning is that it gives you guidelines for deciding what your business needs to improve and what to drop altogether. You can’t know if your marketing and sales approaches are effective unless you know what you are trying to accomplish through them.
As you grow, these measurable goals can also help you to determine if your strategies actually work with your goals, or if you need to change your plan as well. A strategic plan is never set in stone. It must develop with your business to give you the best guide for reaching your goals.
Grow Your Startup Business with Strategic Planning
The growth and success of your startup depend on how well you plan. Take the time to strategize before you launch. Plus, never forget to reassess or change the plan as your business develops and your needs become clearer.
With a strategic plan, your company will benefit from more focused, measurable goals that can help you make the most of your resources. This will result in a better ROI as you see your business grow and reach the goals you have set for it.
Are you ready to grow your startup? Complete the Growth Acceleration Starting Grid to learn how.