Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is used within companies to ensure goals are met. Plans provide direction about where the company wants to go and the actions required to reach the destination. Plans can be created for the entire company, along with specific plans for individual products, services, or programs.

Strategic planning also plays a vital role with developing a retirement plan or engaging in estate planning. Advanced planning lets you gift assets to heirs, business partners, and charities and establish strategies to clear outstanding debts upon death.

Regardless of whether planning is used for business or personal reasons, the benefits are nearly the same. Written plans define the purpose, goals, mission, and timeframe in which plans will unfold. They communicate directives to the people that are in the group. They provide the glue to keep everyone on the same page and can solve problems before they surface.

Creating strategic business plans is important for every company. It doesn't matter if you're a sole proprietor or a board member of a Fortune 500 company. Writing out the purpose of the company and the goals required to expand business operations helps determine what action steps are required.

Business planning is necessary for developing fiscal budgets; identifying roles of top management; establishing effective use of the organization's resources; and developing productivity plans to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Plans should address business succession strategies and asset protection. Anyone that works hard to build a company needs to protect it against lawsuits and take action to pass it along to business partners or relatives upon retirement or death.

Strategic estate planning is necessary for making certain assets are gifted to heirs and beneficiaries. The kind of planning required depends on the kind of assets you own. It's a good idea to talk to an estate attorney to figure out which strategies offer the highest level of protection.

Wills are necessary with all forms of estate planning. Trusts are used when people want to avoid probate and maintain their privacy. Trusts can be a complicated matter, but working with professionals will make the process easier.

Another document that is necessary with strategic business plans, estate plans, and retirement plans is power of attorney forms. POA is used to provide authority to another person to handle business or personal affairs for you. Authority can be limited to one task or expanded to include nearly any task you would normally perform for your self. 

The basic approach to strategic planning is to define missions and objectives; formulate strategies; implement strategies; and evaluate the outcome. Plans should be reviewed on an annual basis and updated whenever major changes occur.

Engaging in strategic planning is especially important for companies during tough economic times. Writing out a business plan lets owners identify strengths and weaknesses and determine which strategies will propel them forward.

Just as you wouldn't build a house without a set of blueprints, you shouldn't operate a business without one. There are numerous resources that can assist with developing plans and analyzing the current state of your company. One of the better approaches is working with professionals that are familiar with business law and asset protection.

Another is working with an estate attorney to establish Wills, trusts, and retirement plans. People are often unaware of how easy it is to write a Will or transfer assets to a trust. With that said, it's important to work with estate planning professionals that thoroughly explain the funding process for trusts and the necessity for updating Wills when major changes occur. 

The team of lawyers at Craton and Switzer can help you engage in strategic planning for personal or business matters. We are committed to helping clients achieve their goals through implementing a variety of asset protection strategies. We invite you to contact us to discuss your planning needs or browse our estate planning blog to learn more about available methods.