Two Key Parts of Strategic Planning: SWOT and SMART

At the beginning of each year, business leaders will take time to review their achievements of the past year and plan for their growth in coming year and future.    Planning will include reviewing the company vision, mission, values, as well as setting goals and creating new projects.  Leaders will look for new products, acquisitions, services, process improvement, marketing, cost cutting, and other ways to improve the profits and placement for the company,  Human, technology, and other resources will be reviewed and future requirements considered to support meeting their new goals and strategic initiatives.  Two items hat can be very key parts of strategic planning include SWOT analysis and SMART goals.  

Knowing how to do all this requires brainstorming and mapping of ideas.   The SWOT process  (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) can help with looking at what was, what is, and what might be.  Doing a SWOT helps to align action with planing for growth and profit.  It creates an awareness of many issues and how to overcome them or build upon them.   This process may be done by the company leaders or a team they have give the task to.  Potential team members could be valued employees, technical experts, current clients, and interested stockholders.

Setting the annual strategy should be yearly process to develop SMART goals and create a plan for success.  Goals must be measured and reviewed during the year to make sure the path is still the direction that the company should be going and if it is, that the target is still achievable.  Celebration for reaching goals and recognizing those that contributed to the company;s success should also be part of the plan  

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