Whether competing as an ongoing business or preparing a business for sale, planning is your key to success! Setting a strategic plan is not just about your goals for the year. Your strategic plan needs to encompass all of the actions, tactics, and strategies to carry out your mission. If your mission defines “How” you serve your customers, then your vision statement defines “Why” you want to serve them. Your vision represents your future state for the company.

Preparing for Your Plan

Most companies have a vision and a mission statement. They know where they want to go. However, developing the tactics and strategies for the coming year requires homework. You need to start asking yourself some basic questions:

  • How do you want your customers to talk about your company, think about your company, or describe your company to others?
  • What does your company do extremely well? In what areas do you perform in an exceptional fashion? What makes you superior to your competitors?
  • Why do your customers buy from your competitors? What benefits do they receive from your competitors that they don’t receive from you?
  • What three core competencies or skills should you begin developing today to assure that you will be ready for the opportunities of tomorrow?

These are just some of the questions you can ask before you write your strategies. For a more complete list of questions download the “Strategic Planning Questionnaire” at the attached link.

Marketing Your Brand

The first question is about marketing your brand. The question asks you to think about the brand from the perspective of your customer. How do you want your customer to perceive your product and / or service? Within your market, how can you define your brand? Answering this question is one of the first steps toward positioning and messaging.

Setting a Product or Service Standard

The second question asks about your unique selling proposition. In what area are you superior to your competition? How do you serve your customers better than any other competitor? Your answers here will get you to think about leveraging your areas of excellence to increase revenue and gain more customers.

Analyze the Competition

The 3rd question asks you to assess the competition. Compare and contrast your product or service to the competition. Assess your price position in the market. Analyze lost sales to determine a future strategy that will prevent this from happening again. Can you actually increase your price because of the superior service you offer? Usually the volume lost due to a price increase is not enough to offset the additional profit gained from the price increase.

Future State

The 4th question asks for an assessment of the future state of your business. What are today’s threats? What are tomorrow’s opportunities? What changes can you make to your business today that will significantly impact your future profits? Think about these changes in terms of your core competencies. Are you preparing your team for the future? If not, what changes can you make to assure success?


Completing the homework above will set you up for a successful strategy session with your team. Building your plan is about preparation. Answering the questions embedded within the “Strategic Planning Questionnaire” provides the basic building blocks of a strategy. Remember your plan must consist of action items and tactics that support strategies aligned with your vision and mission statements.

Download your “Strategic Planning Questionnaire” today and set your team on a path to success!

About the Author: Garrett Grega is a Certified Business Coach with FocalPoint Business Coaching in Branchburg, New Jersey, where he specializes in reconnecting executives, business owners, and managers with their business passions! Garrett has his own passion for supporting others through transitions and exit strategies. He has 20+ years helping international companies launch new products and processes. He previously spent 8 years launching LED lighting products for various lighting companies. His professional experience includes: strategic planning, business development, marketing, and product development. He can be reached at See more at


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