Last Updated 12 Oct 2020

Strategic Planning: Leadership for Organizations George Henson

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Strategic planning is a process of optimism by an organization. It anticipates the future of the organizational goals and strategically plans how the organization will achieve those goals. Strategic planning involves several steps in its process those steps are; (1) strategic thinking including external analysis, (2) internal analysis, (3) identifying key strategic issues, (4) developing viable strategic alternatives, and (5) choosing the best strategy using as criteria whatever the company defines as "success" (Abraham, 2012).

The “Opening Bell Cafe” requires a strategic plan to ensure effectiveness so that new clientele, products and profits are within reach in the near future. The “Opening Bell Cafe” is a new organization and a revised strategic plan can assist with tackling new goals and growth for the organization over the next three years. This organization is very distinct because it offers services and products that exclude them from other leading competitors. In particular, the organization is responsible for employing individuals with great customer service and providing the client with quality individuals and extraordinary services.

Also, the organization capitalizes on its stellar training of culinary and customer service skills which separates it from other competitors. The organization members are required to understand the organizational policies and are the first to ensure that the employee’s and client’s needs are addressed. The managers of the organization are responsible for deciding the direction in which the department should go, what the company should produce, and hence in what industry it competes (Abraham, 2012).

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Understanding the organization’s competitors, identifying the customers, rather they can provide and how the company will continue to remain profitable is the management’s responsibility. In order for the strategic plan to be effective the direction of the company must be understood. The student believes that the current direction is understood but is not being implemented correctly. The company knows what they want to offer; good products and great services this will allow the organization to compete with leading competitors.

The menu of this organization differs from the cafe products to catering services and menu. The organization is aware of who the customer is but is unaware of how to meet them which is a weakness of the organization. During this strategic planning process a SWOT analysis must be completed to understand the organizations strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats of the organization. The SWOT analysis is a straightforward model that provides direction and serves as a basis for the development of marketing plans (Danca, 2012).

The SWOT analysis is being conducted for the benefit of meeting certain goals, the organization has to address the strengths and weaknesses internally and the opportunities and threats externally. The “Opening Bell” has several strengths but the employee relations and effective differentiation are two of the organizations strengths. Opening Bell Cafe is a respectable employer and values its employees. They ensure that the employees feel a part of the team which increases employee relations so that everyone has a pleasant experience with Opening Bell Cafe.

Effective differentiation is the second strength of the organization. Effective differentiation permits the organization to study the competition and questions if they offer the same as competitors. While studying the group has to be realistic about behaviors that will allow the organization to compete with leading brands while identifying ways to improve. These strengths allow the organization to offer well trained employees and recognize products the competitors do not offer. Exploiting the strengths give the Opening Bell the ability to market and promote ahead of the competition.

Weaknesses of the organization need to be understood in order for the organization to have growth and tackle goals. One weakness of the organization is the narrow product line and poor marketing skills. Having a narrow product line limits this company from competing with other cafes’ that offer a selection of breakfast, and lunch. Poor marketing skills limited the organization from reaching millions of potential customers. Just recently the organization established a website which means the people who do not go utilize their stores or catering was unaware that the organization exists.

Strategically the company can avoid these issues by planning for new menu items and developing a marketing strategy. If the company can begin to offer more products and reach potential clients the organization can increase growth, revenue and earnings. Capitalizing on opportunities can be beneficial to the organization as well. The opportunity has a specific technical definition; it is a product-market issue (Abraham, 2012). The company can address this situation by creating a new product for an existing market. Opening Bell can also, expand the market for an existing product.

Creating new products and expanding on existing products can bring about new clients which can offer the organization appeal from their competitors. Such small changes can be huge when competing with leading brands such as Starbucks or Dunkin Doughnuts. Threats can be unfavorable to any company however identifying threats can help the company when strategizing. The threats for the Opening Bell consist of competitors having stronger brand names and the downturn in the economy. All consumers are currently aware of the leading brand names of Starbucks and Dunkin Doughnuts.

Since Opening Bell is aware of these leading brand names they have to offer variations of products and experience. The leading brands do not offer delivery which means that local companies can phone in orders or even order online. Experts say that, “a downturn in the economy can mean that customers are spending less” (Anonymous,1990). After the threats are identified the organization can work towards increasing customer relations. After conducting the SWOT analysis the student has identified areas that are crucial toward the strategic planning process.

The crucial areas are employee relations, poor marketing skills, expand the market for an existing product, and expanding on new products. If these areas are continuous strengths of the organization the organization can focus on other areas that may need restructuring. Employee relations are a part of the operational aspect of the business. Managers are required to guarantee that the organization employees know what to do and how to do it. For this aspect to remain an organizational strength it is essential that all employees know how to communicate effectively.

One expert states, “In order to cope with competition, technological developments and customer demands, managers seek different solutions and tools to manage the unstable, rapidly changing, and never predictable situation which involves communicating effectively” (Johansson, 2008). This statement shows the organization that in order to continue growth in the industry the organization should continue focusing on employee relations. The organizations poor marketing skills have to be addressed in order for the strategic plan to be effective.

It seems that at the present time the organization does not possess a marketing team or manager. The Opening Bell cannot dismiss what marketing the organization can do for the growth of the company. Having a marketing team who can promote the organization and improve customer relations will be valuable for the organization. The organization should put a budget together that permits marketing opportunities. This issue cannot be overlooked any longer the “Word of Mouth” marketing strategy has gotten the organization so far and now the growth is at a cessation.

The organization has to utilize the tools of the internet and television to compete with the leading brands. Having a marketing team who can create promotional opportunities for customers can increase customer acquisition. The strategic plan has to improve the marketing skills of the organization. Expanding the market for an existing product can be challenging but the organization can grow from improving something that is already prevalent for other brands. Since, the organization utilizing fresh ingredients there is nothing like freshly baked cookies and homemade hot chocolate.

There is already a market for these items and making them fresh to order with like a fifteen minute wait time would be fulfilling for the consumer. The hot chocolate would be a great in markets where the winters are cold and something warm is always desired One expert states that, “In fact, line extensions may be the answer to building sales and moving your company in a whole new direction” (Mischina, 2004). Being able to expand can open a whole new avenue for the organization that has not been offered by the leading competitors.

Expanding on a new product for an existing market can create long-term growth for the organization. In today’s world of healthy eating offering gluten free product or even allergen free products on the daily menu can set the organization apart from leading competitors. These new products can provide a much needed solution to a giant problem that others have not offered yet. The previously mentioned areas are essential to the strategic plan of the Opening Bell because they provide an avenue on what is being done and what can be done to further advance the organization.

The external analysis which entails observing, analyzing, and understanding what is changing in a company's external environment to anticipate what the future might hold has been completed (Abraham, 2012). Secondly, the internal analysis involves knowing analyzing, and understanding everything about the company itself, especially what makes it a strong competitor or why it isn't as strong as it could be (Abraham, 2012). Both of these steps in the strategic planning process have been completed. The key strategic issues have been identified and managers are working on resolving the issue.

Annual objectives will be set also, to measure these critical challenges. To measure the success of the strategic plan the Opening Bell will utilize the metrics of revenue growth and the return of investments. These two measuring tools can allow the organization to measure the success or failures of the organization. Revenue growth is used more often when a firm's revenue growth has been inadequate or flat, or when issues of market share and market positioning are strategically significant (Abraham, 2012,).

The organization must measure the growth of revenue to warrant an effective strategic plan. Measuring revenue growth allows the leader to be aware of rather the organization is prepared monetarily for the strategic plan that has been set forward. Also, the strategic plan sets forward what the allotted monies will be used for and how. Secondly, the return of investments can measure the success of the strategic plan. A ROI is a profitability measure. When utilizing the ROI managers should be aware that ROI can measure the performance of the organization, managers and its business units.

Lastly, the strategic plan should include strategic implementation because it’s the only way to boost ROI and increase your chances of success (Evans, 2012). Both of these metrics are capable of measuring the success of the strategic plan which can help any adjustments that need take place to guarantee the company is headed toward success. For an organization such as the Opening Bell Cafe a strategic plan will help to provide sustain the ups and downs of this uncertain economy.

Planning strategically can ensure that the organization meets goals that they have established. All of the strategic planning process steps have been addressed and will be implemented in the near future. Effectiveness is only possible when all employees are on the same page with one another and when a directive is put into place for all to follow. Indeed, the organization is new to the industry but they have found that revising the strategic plan can lead to growth for the organization. Reference Abraham, S. 2012) Strategic Management for Organizations. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Retrieved from: https://content. ashford. edu/books Anonymous. (1990). 1990 SWOT Analysis. Retrieved from: http://som. csudh. edu/depts/cis/meyadat/ClassesPage/CIS502/casestudies/SWOT Danca , A. (2012). SWOT Analysis. Retrieved from; http://www. stfrancis. edu/content/ba/ghkickul/stuwebs/btopics/works/swot. htm Evans J, (2012). 8 Steps to Boost the ROI of Your Strategic Planning Efforts. Retrieved from: http://www. vancarmichael. com/Management/5844/8-Steps-to-Boost-the-ROI-of-Your-Strategic-Planning-Efforts. html Johansson, Catrin (2008). Speaking of change: three communication approaches in studies of organizational change. Corporate Communications 13. 3 Retrieved from: http://search. proquest. com/docview/214190184/ Mishina,Y. (2004), Are more resources always better for growth? Resource stickiness in market and product expansion. Strat. Mgmt. Retrieved from: http://onlinelibrary. wiley. com/doi/10. 1002/smj. 424/abstract

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