The fall is a critical time for looking at your business and making adjustments before the new year. In addition to the tasks of tax planning and budgeting, strategic planning should be on the fall to-do list for your business.

Effective strategic planning is difficult. It requires a discipline many organizations fail to achieve, leaving them directionless and reactive rather than focused and able to create their own opportunities. Businesses that can master the art of strategic planning as an ongoing process are well positioned for meeting – or exceeding – their long-term goals. As you begin your planning process this year, Doeren Mayhew suggests asking yourself these three key questions:

1. Did you involve the right players in your strategic planning process?

You may want to include advisors such as Doeren Mayhew to facilitate the planning process and help you implement tactics to achieve your goals. But you and your top management need to be highly engaged in a process of debate followed by decision making. This not only helps you develop a comprehensive plan, but creates buy-in from the key people who will be responsible for implementing it.

2. Is your plan too broad, or is it specific enough to guide action?

An effective plan should include long-term goals, strategies (broad directions to achieve your goals) and projects (shorter-term actions required to implement the strategies). It also must assign accountability and use metrics to monitor progress.

3. Is your strategic plan being updated sufficiently?

It’s recommended that your plan is revisited annually at a minimum, but think of what you may be missing if you aren’t reviewing it as changes occur: A key employee leaves … a competitor gains market share … a regulation in your industry changes.

 Doeren Mayhew facilitates strategic planning for our clients and helps them implement and monitor the resulting initiatives. For more information, contact our strategic planning advisors in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina or Texas.