Strategic planning is an enormously important and beneficial practice that business of all types and sizes can benefit from. But how do you execute it well? In addition to the thought starters such as Vision, Mission, Values, here are a handful of action points to help your launch.

How strategic planning can produce renewed purpose to a business in its key market.

Before Launch: Start with strong research of your niche market

By now you know that technological change is changing the game, and fast. You might even have seen large organizations, once-vital professions, or indeed, entire industries change in front of you. The key today is to find out what your current customers need and want and provide a finely honed set of products or services that will meet their specific needs.

During Launch: Define an integrated sales and marketing program.

Businesses have found that repeating various types of messages week in and week out is not always the most effective delivery strategy. On the other hand, pushing too many messages into a marketplace can confuse the audience of what is most important and should be remembered. Developing one core strategy that drives all programs at all age demographics delivers the most effective messaging. The key is to select the strategy and messaging that best resonates with your key customers.

After Launch: Realize that statistics tell only half the story

Our world has become extremely statistical because you can measure anything. However, blind reliance on statistics alone can be hazardous and lead a business into an indifferent perspective and persona. The best use of statistics is to use them to confirm what you already know, refine your overall program or learn something entirely new, and test them in person with your prospects and customers.

It’s a very exciting time to be in business. Those businesses that embrace the inevitable changes coming their way will be able to build to new heights. Even strategic planning is evolving with the many new media channels that are being introduced each day. We do know that strategic planning is here to stay and we can expect it to stay in front of all of these changes. Effective strategy, like one-to-one conversations, connects us all.