Ask yourself, is your plan of action worth the paper on which it’s written? Do you have a number on the value of your plan and its impact on the clients or communities that you serve? It’s amazing how a well-thought-out and effective Plan could double your income and boost your credibility. These are the strategic plans that we utilize to help fund proposals for clients. We’re not seeing enough of them.

What are these outstanding strategic plans have in common?

What is that makes them so popular?

Below are 5 methods to maximize the value of your Plan, grow your authority and increase the amount of money you earn:

1 Plan for 3-5 years

A strategic plan aims to accomplish goals over a 3-to-5 year period, not twelve months. Anything less than that period of time is operational. To be sustainable or grow requires elements such as access to human resources as well as research and development finance, governance, and infrastructure, in addition to the ability to gauge your progress within realistic timeframes. If you haven’t clearly defined the goals of your strategic plan, how can you design effective human resource, marketing, or financial programs? What are the ways that people can be able to contribute to the direction of the organization without having it clearly stated?

2. Get outside assistance right from the beginning

If you’re preparing to develop your next strategic plan, think about hiring an external facilitator right from the beginning. They can help with the planning, information gathering and facilitation as well as putting together an overall Plan. They bring objectivity to the process. Some of the advantages include:

Saving time and resources in the process by outsourcing legwork
Limiting the possibility of having an unintentional influence on the design of the Plan which can occur when an internal individual assists and directs the content of the Plan
It enables all parties to fully take part on an equal basis in the process of consultation and debate when shaping the Plan.
3 Incorporate a well-researched situation analysis

Certain organizations rely on their inside knowledge and perceptions to guess what’s happening in the outside world and utilize this limited information to assess the current state of affairs and anticipate future trends. We live in an ever-changing world, and it makes sense that we must review demographic and economic data, competitor information, stakeholder as well as government policies to be strategic and remain ahead of the game. This is what drives innovation. To understand how a good analysis of the situation can help to create a strong 3-5 year outlook take a look at the local government council’s plans. Otherwise, you might be able to pay Gypsy Rose Lee to look at her crystal ball.

4 Strategy and Goals are not your programs, products and services.

If your focus is on the business, put your feet down and think about your mission and vision. If you’re going to achieve results, programs, products, and services are only parts that make up the whole. Think about ‘how, when, the reason, who, and where starting with what needs to happen to take us from A to B within x time to help us to achieve the goal of y (y = goal to reach is vision). When it comes to products, programs, and services, use the strategic planning process to think outside the box and develop some innovative solutions.

5 Measure your results

It is the essential element within the strategic Plan that separates winners from the others. This is the part many strategies gloss over perhaps because it’s difficult to comprehend or a sign of management’s Board/Committee of Management does not recognize its responsibility in setting and monitoring the direction of the business. Some million-dollar companies do not measure their performance beyond the balance account.

If you wish to establish your organization with credibility how do you accomplish without proof? How can you determine how far the company is doing?

Utilizing clients small and large and those who were able to obtain substantial amounts of funds and establish their credibility have the following in place:

The Board exercises its role in the direction of the organization.
It undergoes a diligent plan of action that helps to discover gaps and opportunities that they could take advantage of.
They evaluate improvements. The benchmark, use qualitative and quantitative data and are measured in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. They evaluate every aspect of their work, not just for continuous improvement but also to provide proof of the difference they have made. In socially-oriented businesses, there is the possibility to gather testimonials and stories to add emotion and a human feel to the data.
If you were to put funding into the organization of your choice, what one would you prefer? One that demonstrates it is at the pulse of the times, has set its objectives, and strives to achieve these goals efficiently and effectively or one that, when the chips are off, can’t demonstrate the difference it makes for those it serves? The clients we work with who evaluate overall performance and incorporate this in their strategic plan are the ones that we have found are the most successful at attracting large grants. A well-planned and implemented strategic planning process can more than double the amount of money you earn and boost your credibility.