Developing Strategies

The Role of Strategies and Action Plans

Strategies are statements of how you are  going to achieve something. In a sense, a strategy is how you will use your  mission to achieve your vision. A strategy is a series of actions or activities  designed to achieve the goal. Goals and objectives provide milestones for  measuring the success of the strategy in achieving the vision.

Action plans (tactics) are statements of  specific actions or activities used to achieve an objective. You need to identify  specific individuals who have the responsibility for implementing the action  plans.

A strategic plan is not the same thing as an operational plan. The former should be visionary, conceptual and directional in contrast to an operational plan which is likely to be shorter term, tactical, focused, implementable and measurable. As an example, compare the process of planning a vacation (where, when, duration, budget, who goes, how travel are all strategic issues) with the final preparations (tasks, deadlines, funding, weather, packing, transport and so on are all operational matters).

This is originally a military term, in a business planning context strategy/strategic means/pertains to why and how the plan will work, in relation to all factors of influence upon the business entity and activity, particularly including competitors (thus the use of a military combative term), customers and demographics, technology and communications. Outline strategy, including people, aims, philosophy, etc (ideally tuned to meet the authorising power’s fulfilment criteria) for proposed start or continuation of project (assuming you have a case, and assuming there is no better alternative).

The Business Development Strategy is used to underpin your main Business Plan  and essentially it sets out a standard approach for developing new  opportunities, either from within existing accounts or by proactively targeting  brand new potential accounts and then working to close them.

Your Starting Point:

The key words are Who? What? Where? When? Which? Why? How?

For example:

Who – are you going to target?

What – do you want to sell them?

Where – are they located?

When – will you approach them?

Which – are the appropriate target personnel?

Why – would they want to meet with you?

How – will you reach them?

If you have conducted regular account reviews with your key accounts during  the previous twelve months, you should be aware of any new opportunities that  will surface during the next twelve months. You will also, when assessing what  percentage of your annual target usually comes from existing accounts, need to  review data over the last two or three years. (It is likely that you can apply  Pareto i.e. 80% of your business will probably come from existing accounts and  in fact 80% of your total revenue will come from just 20% of your  customers/clients)

You will be left with a balance – i.e. “20% of my business next year will  come from new opportunities” – therefore you can then begin to allocate your  selling time accordingly.

Strategic Planning is the managerial process ofdeveloping and maintaining a strategicfit between the organization’sobjectives and resources and its changing market opportunities.

Source: Iastate, Planware, Businessball, EzineArticles

2 Responses to “Developing Strategies”
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