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We all need a plan. It doesn’t matter if you’re building a deck, leading a team, or running a construction company, you need a strategic plan.

A strategic plan evaluates all the things you could do and narrows it down what you should do. By limiting the number of things to focus on, your strategic plan will help construction leaders determine where to spend time and apply resources for maximum results.

But, how should construction companies approach strategic planning? There are hundreds of business books dedicated to the topic and say a lot of different things but which ones are right?

Strategic planning might seem overwhelming, but if you break it down, it doesn’t have to be that hard. Here’s our simple five-step approach:

1. Determine where you are.

This is harder than is looks. Some people see themselves how they WANT to see themselves, not how they actually appear to others. Many small businesses get snared in this same trap.

2. Identify what’s important.

Focus on where you want to take your organization over time. This sets the direction over the long term and clearly defines the purpose (why we exist) and vision (picture of what the future should or could be).

From this analysis, you can determine the priority issues—those issues so significant to the overall well-being of your company that they require the full and immediate attention of the entire management team. The strategic plan should focus on these issues.

3. Define what you must achieve.

Define the expected objectives that clearly state what your organization must achieve to address the priority issues.

4. Determine who is accountable.

This is how you’re going to get to where you want to go. The strategies, action plans, and budgets are all steps in the process that effectively communicates how you will allocate time, human capital, and money to address the priority issues and achieve the defined objectives.

5. Review and revise.

It’s never over. To ensure the plan performs as designed, you must hold regularly scheduled formal reviews of the process and refine as necessary. We suggest at least once a quarter.

A strategic plan is a wonderful thing. It can help you take your construction business to places you never thought possible. If you haven’t already done so, take the time to lay out a strategic plan now. It will help stay on track and you focused on the future.