Strategic Planning With a New Year upon us, it’s likely that you’ve spent the last few weeks reflecting on the progress your business made – or didn’t make in 2014. No matter how good (or bad) this past year has been, there’s still room for improvement in the upcoming year.  The past is in the past; what’s most important is how you use what you learned in 2014 to make 2015 your best year yet. With the lessons learned in 2014 and a strong strategic plan, 2015 should look bright for your organization.

Here are some important things to consider as part of your strategic planning process.

Define your goals

What does success look like for your business in 2015? Do you want to increase profits? Gain new business? Reduce costs? It’s likely that your business’s goals include a combination of all the above, so it’s best to meet with your leadership team and identify a list of SMART goals to be accomplished by the end of next year. SMART goals, meaning goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.

Align your goals

It’s extremely important to ensure that your leadership team is aligned with the business’s defined goals.  If your leaders are not fully aligned on a single vision of success, the odds are they will spend more time on their own priorities rather than working to achieve the organization’s goals. For instance, a strategic goal such as increasing profits may have been understood by all departments, but thoughts on how to attain it may vary.The accounting department’s goal is to increase profits by reducing costs. The sales team wants to gain new business to increase profits, but wants to increase the marketing budget the accounting department is striving to cut. Make sure everyone is on board with the organizational goals and the processes used to attain them.

Understand your customers  

You cannot create an effective business plan if you do not understand your customers.  Make it a priority early in the year to clearly define who your targeted customers and potential prospects are. What motivates them and what do they value in your product or service? Do they choose your business or your competitors, and why? Are they loyal to your business, why or why not? The better the understanding you have of your customers, the better you can suit their needs and grow your business!

With a carefully designed strategic plan and a strong execution, it is likely your business will have a prosperous year in 2015.

For more information on strategic planning, please reach out to Genesis HR Solutions at or 800-367-8367.

Genesis HR Solutions is the premier PEO provider for Massachusetts based businesses.