The purpose of strategic planning is to set your overall goals for your business and to develop a plan to achieve them.
It involves stepping back from your day-to-day operations and asking where your business is headed and what its priorities should be.
It will help you prepare a realistic vision for the future of your business and in doing so can maximise your business' potential for growth.
A strategic plan should not be confused with a business plan.
Try to find a mix of creative thinkers and those with a solid grasp of operational detail.
A good rule of thumb is that you shouldn't try to do it all yourself.By contrast, the purpose of the business plan is to provide the detailed roadmap that will take you in your desired direction.Your strategic planning and your business planning should be complementary, but effective strategy development requires you to shift your focus from the day-to-day concerns of your business and to consider your broader and longer-term options.Developing a strategy for business growth requires you to deepen your understanding of the way your business works and its position relative to other businesses in your markets.As a starting point, you need to ask yourself the following three questions: While the second question - Where do you want to take it?Or you might decide to block off a day or two for strategy brainstorming sessions - part of which might involve seeking contributions from a broader range of employees and even key customers.Getting the planning document right The priority with strategic planning is to get the process right.Why strategic planning matters more to growing businesses Taking the decision actively to grow a business means embracing the risks that come with growth.Spending time on identifying exactly where you want to take your business - and how you will get there - should help you reduce and manage those risks.As your business becomes larger and more complex, so strategy formulation will need to become more sophisticated, both to sustain growth and to help you muster the leadership and resources you need to keep your business developing.To do this, you will also need to start collecting and analysing a wider range of information about your business - both about how it operates internally and about how conditions are developing in your current and potential markets.