By Mark Collier, Business Consultant

As we move into the fourth quarter of 2019, savvy business owners are looking ahead to their business prospects for the year 2020. Now is the time to begin looking at strategic planning for the upcoming year. Here are five simple yet strategically sound steps to help plan for a successful 2020:


1. Revisit the company’s mission, vision, and core values. It is important for companies to stay in touch with the foundational principles that the company was founded on. All companies should have a mission statement, a vision statement, and core values that drive both the direction and the culture of the company. Make sure all prospective goals, plans, and actions are fully aligned with the company’s foundational principles.

2. Examine the company’s current state. Conduct an honest and introspective analysis of how things are progressing in 2019. Are goals being met? Are challenges being overcome? Are you moving in the right direction? Answers to these questions will provide business owners with the information they need to make sound course direction adjustments for the future.

3. Envision the company’s future state. As a business owner, what do you want the company to look like at the end of 2020? What steps need to be undertaken to ensure you meet your goals? This step in the strategic planning process helps business owners craft their vision of a successful 2020 and beyond.

4. Conduct a GAP Analysis. Take the findings from both the current state and future state exercises to complete the GAP analysis. A GAP analysis is a comparison of actual performance (current state) with potential or desired performance (future state). From that analysis, a comprehensive action plan for improved performance is formulated.

5. Complete Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) and accountability matrix. The PIP will serve as the road map for measuring improvement, and the accountability matrix will detail who is responsible for what and when. This will serve as the foundational strategic building block for driving the business ahead in the upcoming year.

Yes, strategic planning can be cumbersome, but it is also a very necessary component of business success. Completion of this comprehensive 5-step strategic planning process will help forward-thinking companies hit the ground running in 2020.



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