How to Execute and Create a Strategic Plan for Your Company

SESSION RECAP: Executing the Strategic Plan. What’s the real meaning and importance of a clear and executable strategic vision? How do you create the one your organization best needs? Vistage Chair Glen Hellman led a Private Advisory Board session on how to stay the course and ensure your own success, as well as your company’s.

ISSUE #1

How do I disengage from day-to-day interaction with clients and dedicate more of my time the to strategic planning my company needs to grow?

Why It’s Important

This leader often gets drawn into dealing with clients in a very hands-on fashion. This interaction is important; often, it initiates the business relationship. But not enough time is left to spend on the larger strategic planning, which would enable growth.

Clarifying Questions

  • Is this the key strategic issue the business has?
  • Are you getting the right types of clients in the first place? Can the volume accommodate it?
  • Why did you get into the business, and what’s your ultimate goal with it?
  • Do you want to be involved with clients? Do you need to? The true answers should guide your decision how to allocate your time.

Suggestions / Solutions

  • If it holds that importance, time spent working with clients should be part of the strategic plan, and integrated into the strategic plan.
  • Determine your competitive advantage and how to add real value to your customers; that will allow you to focus on your strategic initiatives a few years out. (A strategy that was credited to Jim Alampi; see below.)
  • Set a target; even if it proves unobtainable in the short term, to base future aspirations upon. Develop a vision.

Recommendations

Action Plan

This leader sees his next step as better articulating his strategic plan in a more realistic matter, with the goal of starting with a “clean quarter” in just one month.

ISSUE #2

How can I ensure that my strategic growth plan succeeds in expanding my company toward a specific goal in three years?

Why It’s Important

The economic downturn hit the company hard; what it produced was no longer a priority for many clients. Previously, the company didn’t need marketing; customers sought them out. Now, marketing is seen as necessary to get back to previous levels of business.

A planned acquisition will soon expand the company’s revenue base, adding clients and employees, and a chance to embrace expansion.

The company is working toward a very aggressive goal — a 50-fold increase in current revenue.

Clarifying Questions

  • What beyond the impending acquisition will work to increase your revenue?
  • If you, as the owner, aren’t doing the bulk of the strategizing, who is?
  • Do you have a clearly defined customer niche that you’re chasing?
  • How has your business model changed so that the next economic downturn won’t affect you as negatively as the most recent one has?

Suggestions / Solutions

  • Set measurable goals — number of contacts, clients, etc. — and meet them.
  • Determine what your real competitive advantage is. Think of yourself as you usually think towards your clients.
  • Develop a marketing and branding ecosystem and strategy that ensures you won’t face periods in the future where customers simply aren’t coming to you.

Recommendations

Action Plan

It’s agreed: This leader needs to focus on creating the best campaign in his company’s history — for the sake of promoting his own business. A plan will be in place by the end of September.

Words of guidance from moderator Glen Hellman: How do you put your issue into a “how do I”? In other words, how do you transform the strategic hurdle you’re currently facing into an actionable item — a question that involves an answer, and therefore a solution?
Session date: Aug 28, 2012
Originally published: Sep 4, 2012

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