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This Essential Step in Strategic Planning Can Be Overlooked

Posted on December 11, 2019 by Paul Schulls

It’s strategic planning season again! While you envision to make 2020 you best year ever, don’t forget a couple essential exercises to your planning. These two smaller steps are not commonly done by businesses, but they can be argued as most essential!

Please use this article as a step-by-step guide to easily implementing these steps.

Step 1: Engage select staff beyond your leadership team in your strategic planning.

It’s easy to do this. The following ways are different parts of strategic planning that they should be involved in.

  1. First, have them contribute to the SWOT you create. Your staff knows the in’s and out’s of your business just, if not more, than you do. In addition, they may uncover growth areas and opportunities in areas of the business no one else in involved in. Sharing this type of input engenders mind share, alignment and synergies amongst one another.
  2.  It’s obvious that some of your staff deals with customers. Have them share thoughts on how to grow existing clients and strategies on how to find more ideal customers.
  3. Lastly, have appropriate staff analyze key competitors and devise strategies as to how to outperform them.

Step 2: Engage your trusted customers in your strategic planning.


There is no better way to run a customer-centric company than to ask and involve your customers in your 2020 plans. Here are some tactics:

  1. Have customers you trust do a SWOT on you. This may uncover weaknesses and opportunities that your team may not catch due to being constantly ingrained in the business.
  2. While gathering SWOTs from your key customers, utilize that time to also find out about their current pain points related to their 2020 plan. Use their thoughts to form your plan. Remember, the best new product (or service) is one that the customer is already asking and willing to pay for!
  3. Take this added facetime with a customer as an opportunity to sell existing products or services.

I will challenge everyone who is coordinating or leading strategic planning for their company to use these two steps not only when they plan for 2020 but throughout the year.

Your staff and customers have ideas and input that may not be thought of so you should use them whenever possible!


I wish you all the best in 2020!

Paul Schulls is the President and Co-Founder of the business advisory firm, STUCK Coaching. He can be contacted at pauls@getunstuck.com.


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