How to make business decisions within a strategic context
Decision-making is central to all organisational activities and has to be done with precision and clarity. Business planning begins with identifying medium and long-term goals and subsequently setting guidelines to reach them. By formulating strategies, we create an effective roadmap to achieving objectives and addressing all the necessary measures to be taken.
To carry out something successfully, you need a game plan and success is crucial where business projects are concerned. This measure also assures that you get maximum advantage out of all the available talent and resources. The term ‘strategic planning’ is contextually different from general business planning and this blog will make the term and its effective use more apparent.
If you plan to expand your operations, you have to think wisely and create a realistic vision. You can have a multitude of prospects to choose from but you need to be selective about picking them and their usage. Decision-making in business has a domino effect right from the inception of a task, to its conclusion, and hence needs to be done with particularity. While a business plan is concerned with defining steps crucial to setting short to mid-term goals, strategic planning lays down steps to achieve them.
The strategic planning process defines what the organisation aims to achieve and how it will execute it. The current market is extremely competitive and to survive it, one must consider the future and design a strong blueprint of every company procedure. A strategic plan leaves no room for assumptions and doubts as it distinctly defines the reason for a company’s existence, its goals and success indicators. These measurable markers keep the organisation updated on its progress and help to ascertain whether goals are being achieved.
It’s pivotal to be aware of important priorities of the business and analyse the direction in which it’s heading. In the absence of this, no company can enjoy consistent long-term growth. The purpose of a strategic business plan is to assess your overall goals and means to achieve them. You must also embrace all the risk factors along the way which can be better managed and reduced with the help of strategic planning.
When an organisation grows and the business structure becomes complex, so does formulating strategic business decisions. At the same time, it’s important to keep three crucial elements in mind.
To know where your business is currently serves as the foundation in understanding your company operations and what drives its profitability. A critical analysis of present business standing and comparison with competitors should be your primary step.
The next element in the strategic planning process is designing a vision and setting objectives. Be clear about where you wish to see your business in the next 5 or 10 years and plan your objectives, values, mission and techniques accordingly. Not only will this help you consolidate your final plan, but it will also serve as motivating factors in getting there.
The third element is understanding how you will achieve your targets and the changes that need to be made in everyday tasks to reach them. It also focuses on the best means to implement those changes - structurally and financially. You must consider lines of acquisition plans, diversification and other functional areas.
Being practical while making any strategic or business plans is vital as your objective has to be realistically achievable. To carefully manage strategic planning, rightful allocation of responsibilities and resources is necessary. The first step should be finding the right people for the job who possess the necessary analytical skills. To have the correct mix of creativity and knowledge of operational details can work wonders in creating a sound strategic plan.
While there is no defined way to formulate a plan, you should have clarity on your progression. Those involved must understand their responsibilities and how things will proceed. The structure of the process can vary depending on your business type and size. You can plan everything over a series of meetings with the strategy team and assign the drafting of the strategy to a particular person or have brainstorming sessions with employees and key customers.
While the process part is crucial, you cannot ignore documenting the outcome of strategic planning. This helps in clearly communicating the carefully-designed objectives to everyone in the organisation and getting them to work on achieving them through defined steps.
Strategic decision-making is an ability that’s instrumental in your professional journey. This crucial skill can be imbibed through the business strategy programme offered by London School of Business and Finance (LSBF). This course will give you a thorough understanding of various business growth strategies and LSBF courses are designed to provide valuable real-life learning that’s highly beneficial. Sign up today and watch your career soar!
This article was written by Nandita Kaushal and edited by Anisa C.
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