Strategic planning is vital for any business operation particularly near the beginning of its stages of formation. This is because strategic planning defines the ‘where’ the company is going or plans to go, and the possible ways it will arrive there. Ideally, it can be compared to when one is planning to travel without having a specific destination in mind; it would be therefore unrealistic to plan for the accommodation services considering the destination is not defined.
The success of any business is thus, solely dependent on the plans laid down for the future. It is necessary to note that the future is always unpredictable due to its constant change, and therefore one may ask, ‘why do we insist on strategic planning when we know well that the future will change?’ Strategic planning enables us to react effectively to such changes in the future flexibly, without any surprises.
It is true that failing to plan, is planning to fail. Failing to plan for any business is failure to think ahead on the possible uncertainties that will challenge operation of the business in the future. Strategic planning thus is a means to protect the firm from experiencing such complications during its future operation. Strategic planning offers an overall direction to the management of the business giving pre-mapped direction to departments such as finance, marketing, human resource and operational strategies, in order to guarantee success.
Strategic planning should not be confused with the normal business operation plans. It is a futuristic dream of success, which is pursued through acquisition of a vision, setting of a mission and planning to achieve such a dream, through persistent application of the plan in place to achieve success.
Strategic planning is therefore key to the success of any business be it small-scale firm or large corporate business. It enables us to overlook the expected financial challenges that we are likely to face in the future days of operation especially in our financing business. It is therefore important to plan vigorously before commencement of business.
The creation of a mission statement is the first step in strategic planning. A mission statement is a company’s definition to its clients, employees and general public of the purpose of its existence. According to Chris (1998), “Mission statement: Defines the organizations essential motive for existence and establishes the scale of business.”
Considering am in a company offering financial services to its clients, our mission statement that we came up with was ‘To Be a Catalyst for Wealth Creation and Provision.’ The importance of this mission statement is to express to the world that we are dedicated in creating financial solutions to our customers meeting their financial needs with speed and sufficiency.
The simplicity of our mission statement will be vital in attracting clients to our services considering it is self-explanatory. This will guarantee the success of our business as we will be able to reach the masses without marketing struggle. The mission statement easily speaks out to our clients directly approaching their need which is wealth and expressing how we will solve their need that is via creation and provision.
Our vision statement was agreed to as ‘To be The Global Leading Development Financial Institution.’ This vision statement purely described our vision in completely considering we as a company aimed to be a leading development financial institution. The vision statement also rigidly supported our mission statement as it gave our clients an image of continuity and stability in the financial provision business.
A vision statement enables us as the company, to illustrate our purpose as a financial organization. Our clients need to be informed on our future vision and if they encompass their own vision to do business with us in the future. The essence of our vision statement is to guarantee our clients, employees and general public that we have a vision to continue doing business with them even in the future through expansion via strategic planning and strong business ethics.
Under strategic planning, our company was indulged in various objectives that had to be scrutinized keenly to facilitate the smooth running of the company. Such objectives defined the techniques our business would utilize to accomplish the various targets set by the company ranging from monetary goals, customer service goals and performance goals. The objectives include;
Financial objectives – The Company is required to set comprehensible financial objectives, which will steer the company toward financial stability and success in terms of achieving the targets of the company. As much as the objectives need to be ambitious, they also need to be realistic and achievable.
Financial objectives can include growth in company revenues, reduction in company loans and creditors, expansion of the financial base. This can be done through attaching of a
percentage to an objective which will serve as a target for the company in pursuing a given objective.
Sales and Marketing objectives – Sales and marketing objectives enable the company to compete with other companies for customers in the market thus enabling the company to attain desirable sales and new customers. The objectives may consist of reducing the cost of a product to boost sales (sales objective), or introduce a original product to the market (marketing objective).
Marketing according to American Marketing Association (2012), “is the practice of planning and carrying out the idea, pricing, support and distribution of thoughts, commodities and services to generate interactions that satisfy customer and organizational objectives.”
Operational Objectives – They include objectives that will directly affect the operations of the company positively such as acquisition equipment to facilitate easy operation, expansion of the company in terms of branches and offices. Such an objective will increase the company’s operation which will result in additional revenue.
Human resource objectives – These are objectives involving the employees of the company. Human resource is a very sensitive department of the company and generally drives its operation. Objectives involving human resource include; the addition or reduction of the general staff of the company, the increment or revision of the staff remuneration, e. g salaries and commissions.
Customer Service objectives – These are sensitive objectives that deal with the way the company interacts with its clientele be it inside the company’s premises or outside in the market. They may include provision of financial advice services to our clients on matters concerning best financing/investment options, or provision of customer friendly services as well as staff who assist the clients in their various points of need.
The above objectives are essential in boosting the performance of the company in order to achieve the targets set by the company in all its departments. The objectives provide a set target to its employees and thus act as a guideline for operation putting into consideration the vision and mission of the company (Carliner, 1998)
In sales and marketing, we introduced more affordable financial packages to our clientele, which received huge market. This was in line with our mission of catalyzing wealth provision. Due to the increase in market, we were able to expand our company by opening two new branches in our neighboring states. Additional recruitment of staff and purchase of extra equipment was undertaken thereby proving that we are on track with our vision.
We revised our product services to include better customer services by incorporating free financial advice to all our current and future clients. This was not only exciting to our clients, but also improved their wealth in general, as they were now able to make sound financial and investment decisions. Our mission was evidently achieved considering our clients success is our success.
- Chris, A., (1998, September). Strategic planning. Retrieved from http://fpm.iastate.edu/worldclass/strategic_planning.asp
- John, Z., (2010, Feb 2nd). Non profit financial objectives and financial responses to a tough economy. Retrieved from http://.academia.edu/665499/Nonprofit_financial_objectives_and_financial_responses_to_a_tough_economy
- Carliner, S (1998). Business Objectives: A key for Demonstrating the Value of Technical Communication Products.
- Reed, D., (2012). Marketing. Retrieved from http://uncw.edu/career/marketing.html