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How to make a Strategic Plan

This article is about how a company should make a strategic plan and what the elements of a strategic plan are. Strategic plan starts from the company vision and mission; external and internal analysis; deciding upon a generic strategic and strategic positioning of the company and mobilizing all the components of the company towards the chosen strategic positioning.

Strategy is like a game plan that helps a company in gaining competitive advantage. Strategic planning results in creating focus to value the customer and making better utilization of resources. It integrates the work of every employee toward a definite goal that increases the ability to manage sustainable growth (Bryson & Alston 2004). It is dynamic in nature.

Strategic plan is essential for every business, irrespective of their market size or availability of financial resources. The strategic planning process includes the vision, mission, internal & external analysis, strategic analysis and the tactical analysis of the company.

Vision and Mission

Vision: Describe the long term objective of the organization in the business i.e. why in this business. It defines one common goal for which the whole organization work (May 2010). It consists of the statements that explain organizational status for 5 to10 years down the line. A vision might be result of brainstorming that deal with the issue of conflict. A vision statement can include two overlapping or conflicting statements (Malphurs 2005).
Mission: Describing the mission statement is the next important step in formulating strategic plan. It clarifies the operating focus of the organization, i.e. what to do? Mission is more concrete and answers the questions like, what the business does. Mission includes the questions like, who is the customer. Where is the customer? What does the customer buy? And how to satisfy the customerís need? (May 2010).

External and Internal Analysis
External analysis: External analysis is the analysis of direct competitor, trends in the industry and general environmental changes. External analysis helps in finding the technological or demographic changes and their impact on the business. SWOT & PEST analysis helps in finding the external analysis of the organization that covers opportunities and threats & political, environmental, social and technological analysis (Ghani, Nayan, Ghazali, Shafie & Nayan 2010). External analysis helps in creating better strategic planning as the decisions are taken according to the external environmental conditions.
Internal analysis: Internal analysis is necessary to find the strength and weakness of each functional area of the organization and also provide detail about the financial condition and access to capital (May 2010). It also include potterís value chain model which explain about firmsí infrastructure, human resource management, technological development and other factors relating to marketing and sales (Katsioloudes 2002).

Strategy and Tactics
On the basis of above study, strategies and tactics are formed that helps in creating competitive advantage to the organization. They are dynamic in nature and constantly reviewed as the internal or external condition changes (Alfred 2006). Strategy can be defined as integrating the organization with stakeholder to create value that differentiate the organization with its competitors and provide advantage over them.
Tactics include future goals, plans, objectives, priorities and budgets for the organization. It helps in taking frequent action thus creates value for the business. Tactics is a driving force for the organization and provide meaning for individual behavior (Alfred 2006).

Benefits of Strategic Planning

Strategic planning result in increasing ability of the organization to thinkArticle Submission, act and learn strategically. It enhances the effectiveness of the organization toward the rapid changing environment and increases efficiency by achieving better results with fewer resources (Bryson & Alston 2004). It helps the organization to understand the situation more clearly and conceptually.†

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