Building a rock-solid strategic plan requires examining all angles of your firm with an eagle eye. The following outline will help you identify the key areas to address in your strategic plan.
The questions below can involve a great deal of time to successfully answer – far more time than is usually available during a strategic planning retreat. You may need to prioritize these issues in order to identify and deal with the most important ones.
Once prioritized, the next retreat can focus on other issues that will then become the highest priority.
Purpose, culture, and business model
- What's your business all about?
- What's special about it?
- What, specifically, are you trying to accomplish?
- What culture do you have?
- What culture would you like to have?
- Are you a niche firm?
- A commodity firm?
- Or some of both?
- What overall business strategy will you adopt?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What opportunities are there for your firm to achieve even greater success?
- What threatens your firm's current level of success or, perhaps, its very existence?
- Is there a market for what you want to sell?
- Who are your clients and potential clients?
- How do your competitors and potential competitors approach the market?
- How will you gather information?
- How will you sell your products or services?
- How is your organization structured?
- Is that the best structure for what you are trying to do?
- What kinds of responsibilities should key people have?
- How are you delivering your products and services to your clients?
- How do you want to deliver them in the future?
- How is your information technology supporting your business strategy?
- How will it need to change in the future?
- Are your financial systems supporting your business strategy?
- How do your financial results stack up against other similar firms?
- If they are deficient, what should you do about it?
- Will you focus on quantity or quality of your staff?
- How can you develop a high performance organization?
- How will you develop your people to their maximum potential?
- What will you do about mediocre (or worse) performers?
- How will you recruit top-notch talent?
- What are your criteria for future leaders?
- How will you develop the next generation of principals?
- How will you eventually replace yourself?
- What is your philosophy on stock ownership?
- Will you eventually sell stock internally or externally?
- How should you value the stock?