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The 4 Perspectives of Strategic Planning

image - SMARTSTART Strategy

Study the past if you would define the future. ~Confucious

Regardless of which strategies you are using to grow your business, you should consider and measure their contribution to your success from 4 different perspectives:

  1. financial
  2. customer
  3. internal business processes
  4. learning and growth

What it means

From a financial perspective, a common strategic objective is to increase return on investment (ROI). Many decisions made with respect to developing specific products are based on understanding the expenses you’ll incur to create them. You cannot survive indefinitely if you only create products that aren’t profitable.

Not everything scales; best to know that up front. Financial metrics help you decide where to invest limited resources for maximum return.

Forecasting your sales is important too. And not only from a financial perspective but also from a customer perspective. While making those initial sales is exhilarating, it will only take you so far. You must also have strategies in place for assuring customer satisfaction and supporting customer retention as well as for monitoring your competition.

You need to ensure, from an internal business process perspective, that you have provided procedures for regular market evaluation and monitoring. Strategies for keeping pace with industry, market and technology change are critical to ensuring the longevity of your business.

As a gentle reminder, sales forecasting needs to take place before and after your product launches to ensure you have not made crippling mistakes in predicting your customers’ purchase behaviour and buying cycle. Additionally, have a process in place for new product development and launch management to keep your business growing and sustainable.

Finally, you must have strategies in place for supporting learning and growth — not just for you, but also for your team. Every business presents endless challenges and ever-changing demands. In that respect, rather like parenting a child; the methods and techniques the worked with your toddler are insufficient for motivating your teen.

Conclusion

Success requires constant adaptation. You must train yourself to recognize patterns and shifting landscapes and then apply the wisdom gained from experience. A growing business is constantly evolving and so will you right along with it.

It’s simply a matter of maintaining the four critical perspectives.