7.3. Strategic Planning: Strategic Planning Process

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7.3. Strategic Planning: Strategic Planning Process

Strategic planning is an essential tool for the efficient management of any business, whether small, medium or large. It is through this that the direction to be followed by the company is established, with the objective of obtaining an optimized level of growth and profitability, and at the same time, minimizing the risks inherent to business activities.

Definition of Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is a management process that involves defining the company's business strategies, based on the opportunities and threats of the external environment and the strengths and weaknesses of the internal environment. This is long-term planning that aims to ensure the sustainability of the business.

Strategic Planning Process

The strategic planning process involves several steps, which can be summarized as follows:

1. Analysis of the External Environment

This stage involves analyzing the opportunities and threats of the company's external environment. Opportunities are external situations, current or future, that, if properly taken advantage of by the company, can influence it in a positive way. Threats are external, current or future situations that, if not eliminated, minimized or avoided by the company, could influence it negatively.

2. Analysis of the Internal Environment

Here, the company must identify its strengths and weaknesses. Strengths are characteristics of the company, tangible or intangible, that can be leveraged to optimize its performance. Weaknesses are characteristics that need to be improved so that the company does not lose competitiveness.

3. Definition of Strategic Objectives

Based on the analysis of the external and internal environment, the company must define its strategic objectives, which are the results that the company hopes to achieve in the long term.

4. Formulation of Strategies

The formulation of strategies involves defining the actions that the company will implement to achieve its strategic objectives. Strategies may involve, for example, entering new markets, creating new products, changing production processes, among others.

5. Implementation of Strategies

The implementation of strategies involves carrying out the actions defined in the previous stage. This is the stage in which strategies leave the paper and become part of the company's day-to-day operations.

6. Assessment and Control

The last stage of the strategic planning process is evaluation and control, which involves monitoring the implemented actions and evaluating the results achieved. This step is essential for the company to make the necessary adjustments and ensure that strategic objectives are achieved.

In short, strategic planning is a continuous and dynamic process that aims to ensure the company's long-term sustainability and success. For small business owners, it is a fundamental tool for efficient business management and strategic decision-making.

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