Competitive business leaders should also be strategic thinkers. The importance of strategic planning in business cannot be overemphasized. It gives business leaders an expansive and inclusive understanding of the business’s objectives while helping it to achieve its long-term goals. The comprehensive strategic planning process for business leaders should comprise of five critical steps.

Defining mission and vision
Strategic planning is more about getting a business to remain focused on the future. The only way to incorporate the future into the present within a company is to have a well-defined mission, vision, and goals. The vision statement is a description of what the business intends to be within a unit time. The mission statement, on the other hand, comprises a description of what is being done currently to achieve the vision.

Comprehensive SWOT analysis
Strategic planning cannot be complete without evaluating the business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). The SWOT analysis provides the business with a comprehensive overview of its internal and external parameters, which are crucial to fulfilling its objectives. A proper SWOT analysis should allow the company to realign itself to ensure that its goals are accomplished.

Formulation of the strategy
The third important part of strategic business planning involves coming up with the actual strategy. This requires the concerted involvement of all teams, departments, and individual employees. The rigorous process of strategic business planning should be progressively tested over a duration of time to ensure that the final plan is foolproof and sustainable.

Implementation of the strategy
After a comprehensive strategic planning process, the business should embark on operating in the fulfillment of the strategy. A good plan should have each member of the workforce working within a team or a department to fulfill a specific aspect of the formulated strategy. Creating a network across the entire enterprise offers the right platform of teamwork to ensure that all concerted efforts point towards fulfilling the business’s strategic objectives.

Progressive evaluation
After the rollout of the corporate strategy, a progressive evaluation should be done to ensure that the execution of the strategy is perfected. Regular checks and balances should accompany the execution process. Key performance metrics that are relevant to each department can be used to assess whether the company is on course to fulfill the strategic plan.