September 6, 2016

What are business leaders called to accomplish and yet only an estimated 15% do – Strategic Plan. Part of the reason for this is that most have not had it explained simply. There are two steps- how to do it and the value of it.  Let me know if this sheds some light on the subject.

If you were thinking of going on a journey, you would have to decide a number of things: where are you going and what are you going to do on that journey? Let’s follow that line of thinking regarding strategic planning.

From your businesses’ perspective, think of a strategic plan as your organization’s roadmap. Where you are headed is your vision, and why you’re going is your mission. A specific strategy is the road you select to travel; it might be a direct route or you might go down side roads. The scenery and landscape is the market you are operating in. The type of vehicle you drive is your operations – sleek and mean, or pricey and fast or clunky and slow. How it feels in the vehicle is your organization’s culture: your leadership, and team and the climate dictates actions. Of course, the people on the trip are your employees – their skills and capabilities are your accessories. The time and money you use to get to your destination dictates your profit margin.

Now, I want to concentrate on two areas of your journey for this article. Scenery and your vehicle because it is these two areas that determine your strategic position.

Before we begin, ask yourself a couple of questions: Does your strategic position (scenery and vehicle) differentiate you from your competitors or are you traveling the same roads? Does it help your customers and potential customers understand that you have something to offer that’s unique or difficult to replicate? If not, you might need some landscaping and an upgrade in what you are driving.

All you have to do to determine the value of creating your Strategic Position Is to think about the value of that incredible trip you have been on and how beautiful scenery is and how comfortable you were in your vehicle. So how do you determine what your strategic position is? Here is a simple format fill in the [BLANK] and see how it works.

For [target market description] who [target market need] [how our business offering meets the need]. Unlike [key competition], it [most distinguishing feature].

Once you build your strategic position, the key is that you review your planning every month. Review the chart below to determine the elements of your strategic plan.

Do you know and understand the seven differentiators? Have you built a meaningful differentiated message for your customers?

Brad has been mentoring executives to strategically position their businesses and their lives for more than 25 years. His proven A2A system creates internal and external excellence and advocates. Brad’s ‘Results First’ business positioning program empowers executives to grow and transfer their leadership assets to develop better businesses and richer lives.