4 Tips to Kickstart Your 2020 Strategic Planning

As 2019 draws to a close, it’s easy to get wrapped up in all of the end of year tasks, not to mention festivities! It’s also the time to set your sites on 2020 as Q4 is the perfect time to evaluate the previous year’s goals, accomplishments, and kickstart your 2020 strategic planning for growth in the year ahead.

Wondering how to get started? We have four tips to guide you through the strategic planning process and help your 2020 strategic plan take flight.

1. Leverage Your Team’s insight

Strategic planning should be a company wide activity. When you engage your whole team in their evaluation of what worked and didn’t work in 2019, and how they think the company could improve in 2020, there’s more buy in with transparency and engagement across the company. We just finished “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr as a pre-assignment for our company strategic planning retreat. It created common language around objectives and prompted open honest discussions at all levels of the company.

Set aside time to discuss and plan for 2020 as a team, collectively evaluate and decide your company’s top 3 – 5 biggest challenges and opportunities. How will your company look at the end of 2020 if you solve or make significant progress on those challenges? This is also the perfect opportunity to revisit your organization’s mission, vision, and plans for growth to make sure everyone is aligned and make any necessary adjustments.

Pro tip: If you haven’t run a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis recently, now is the time! Download our free SWOT templates here.

2. Determine Your Top priority

What is the number one problem you’re trying to solve for or opportunity you’re trying to achieve? If you can answer this question, you’re off to a great start. That may seem like a statement of the obvious…but it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Getting your executive team, management, and staff to agree and organize objectives around your top priority becomes a litmus test for decision making across the organization. Accomplishing it should be the main objective of your strategic plan and all company efforts should be aligned accordingly to reach it.

If you’re not sure how to get there or there are too many competing “priorities” you might benefit from outside expertise to help you get clear picture and create alignment.

3. Review last year’s goals

Before setting new goals, revisit last year’s strategic plan to make sure you’ve checked off everything you wanted to accomplish. Didn’t get all of them done? Don’t worry! Roll them forward into your 2020 strategic plan, but only if they’re still relevant.

Hint: if you’ve landed on the top priority and 3-5 key objectives for 2020 it’s much easier to evaluate what should come forward, or not.

4. Create Marketing, Sales, Operations and other department plans and budgets

Departmental and tactical plans should be directly tied to your 2020 top priority and 3-5 company objectives. Each functional area of the company would ideally have a 2020 plan for how they will contribute to the success of the top priority.

What are Marketing’s top 3-5 objectives? What about Sales? Customer Service? Operations? How will they contribute to each other’s success towards common goals? With all of the above, how will you measure results and progress against objectives?

When there’s alignment around priorities it serves as a litmus test for decisions and a guide for allocation of resources including budgets required in each critical area.  Develop a budget that is built around supporting the goals laid out in your plan vs. business as usual.

Next Steps: Strategic and Tactical Marketing Planning

Are you struggling to meet your 2019 revenue goals? Do you know if your marketing efforts are working? Do you have a robust lead gen pipeline? Upstart Group can help.

Our fractional marketing executives partner alongside you to hit the ground running. We provide the marketing leadership, industry perspective and hands-on know-how to make an impact in your revenue-growth strategies and position you for long-term growth.

Finish the year strong and use Upstart Group’s experts in marketing strategy, planning, and budget development to build your 2020 road map for success! Fill out the form below to learn more about how we can assist with the following:

  • Marketing assessments to figure out what’s working and what’s not
  • Evaluate your sales and marketing alignment and provide recommendations
  • Participate in your 2020 strategy session / growth planning
  • Run a competitive analysis or customer research project to inform marketing and sales efforts