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Entrepreneurs Strategic Planning

Now that you have a good understanding of the finance aspect you can move on to look at the strategic planning for your idea. As former President of India said strength respects strength this is not only true with strength but with anything, if you are strong is something people will always respect you. Under this we will examine the 4 W’s and 1 H of Strategy.

First W of Strategy

What is Strategy? A dynamic process involving more then the usual linear sequence planning that is associated with strategic planning.



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  The common mistakes made about strategy is that first you plan, then you strategize, then you decide on the tactics to carry it out, it is the CEO’s job, it is in the red book and it comes in the shower.

Second W of Strategy

Who should strategise? Actually everybody in the organization should play a role in strateging.




Front line strategists


A company will usually have three groups of people. Starting with the front line strategists these are the customers, the people who interact with customers and group functional teams. The next level is the integrators. These people connect the front liners and the leaders. They act as the link and tune the strategy and take it to the leaders. In turn the leaders will align these by focusing with company vision and balancing for the final strategy. As you can see everyone is involved. So when we finalise the strategy no one can say that they were not part of it.

Third W of Strategy

Why strategise? In order to focus on your customers and market needs and the need to staying flexible and responsive to market needs. This is the only way to hold on to valuable and knowledgeable work force. With the fast paced world this will avoid management burn out. Strategising is not an option. It is needed to be successful. With technology things change rapidly so you need to plan to be ahead of others. Please note that planning for a large company is different to that for a smaller one. By strategising it helps you ask “how you will compete”.

Fourth W of Strategy

When strategise?  A simple and the only answer is all the time.

H of Strategy

How do you strategies? This can come about in two ways one “listen to customers” and the other “empower your people”.

In brief, strategising involves everyone so more time is spent. But if everyone is involved you might ask who makes the decision? That is why we have a leader for each company. How can an organization concentrate if we are chasing our customers for new opportunities? Remember if customers do not want what we are doing then we lose big time so we need to chase the customer your BOSS!

The 10 Step Planning Process

  1. Define a clear vision and translate to a meaningful mission.
    1. Define a vision statement
    2. Define the mission statement based on the vision
    3. Mission statement should address the business you are in
    4. This is the starting point for you and your business
  2. Define its market position and driving force
    1. No company can be good at everything. So you need to know what you are good at and work on it
    2. You need to target a market
    3. You must be knowledgeable of the market
    4. Uniqueness of your product
  3. Determine its strength and weakness
    1. Once you have identified the market and your driving force you can now assess your strength and weakness.
    2. Strength are positive internal factors and weakness are negative internal factors
  4. Look at the market for opportunities and threats
    1. Now identify the opportunities and threats from the market
    2. Opportunities are positive external factors and threats are negative external factors.
  5. Determine the key success factors
    1. Every business has controllable variables which determine its success
    2. These factors can be cost, manufacturing, distribution etc
  6. Study the competition
    1. Why study competition?

                                                   i.      To avoid surprises and to be prepared

                                                 ii.      To identify their threats

                                                iii.      To improve your planning

                                                iv.      To understand the market behaviours

  1. Determine company goals and objectives
    1. Before embarking in a set of strategies a company must identify its goals and objectives
    2. Goals are broad long range objectives
    3. Objectives are short term and more performance specific
    4. Objectives must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely (SMART) and 3Ps, personal, positive and put  in writing
  2. Formulate Strategy plan
    1. Formulate and select the strategies
    2. This is a road map for the company’s action to achieving its mission, goals and objectives
    3. Must be action oriented
  3. Define an action plan
    1. Now translate your strategic plan into an action plan
    2. No strategic plan is complete until it is put into action
  4. Monitoring the action plan
    1. Now translate your strategic plan into an action plan
    2. No strategic plan is complete until it is put into action

Now that we have had a look at strategic planning let us move on to look at project management in the next article.

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