Phase One

Your company's strategic issues are those problems that are likely keeping you up at night. They're often the reason that a company decides to embark on the strategic planning process in the first place. Strategic issues can be shifts in the market, economic risk, political risk, supply chain issues, customer demand challenges, or even new market entrants.

Questions to answer

  • How can we grow, stabilize, or retrench to sustain our organization into the future?
  • How can we diversify our revenue to reduce our dependence on a select group of significant customers?
  • What can we do to improve our costs and stay competitive?
  • How and where can we innovate?
  • How can we leverage our existing products and services for white space opportunities?

Think about the issues, opportunities, or marketing shifts that you care about.

You may have heard of an environmental scan before. Some people know it as a PEST scan. This refers to the identification of political, economic, social, and technological trends. Others prefer the broader term - environmental scan - because the acronym 'PEST' does not include ecological and legal trends.

Whatever you refer to the process as you should take the time to complete it. By identifying and becoming comfortable with these trends and their current dominating characteristics, you and your team can become more successful. These trends make up the current business environment. Therefore, becoming more accustomed to them can help your company become more comfortable with the opportunities and threats environment.

Just like it's essential to identify opportunities and threats, it's also important to identify strengths and weaknesses. As you may know, strengths are activities that your business does well, while weaknesses are those limitations of a company that prevents it from completing activities. By identifying strengths, you can figure out what your company can advertise to its customers. These strengths are the qualities that separate a business from its competitors. This is especially if one of your company's strengths is one of your competitor's weaknesses. Your company's strengths are the selling points of your brand. Ensure that you fortify these strengths and use them when discussing your company, its products, and services.

With that let's move to Phase Two