Strategic Planning is a process used by many organizations and businesses to achieve goals and objectives. It starts with the development of a long term Vision of what you want your business to be in the future. This is then translated into quantifiable terms such as sales, net earnings, gross margins, cash flows, etc.
The development of your long term Vision is accompanied by an internal and external examination of your business and the environment that you operate within. What do you do well? What are you good at? What are you not good at? Where are your weaknesses? What threatens your business? Where can you improve? What's happening with your competition? Your suppliers? Your customers? Are buying habits changing? What trends are developing? How are technological advances impacting your business? Where are the opportunities?
This process helps businesses develop an outline of broad strategies that it can then use to focus their organization's people and efforts.
For family owned business, strategic planning is an especially important tool to help align family members with the business' goals and objectives. Members of the next generation should be involved as well as they will be responsible to carry on the Vision for the business.
Strategic Planning should not be a one time event. Conditions change over time. If your business climate is volatile, you should revisit the planning effort frequently. As conditions change, so should your business.