IWCA was founded in 1989. To keep the board of directors, committee chairs and management staff all on the same road map the association relies on a strategic plan.
About every 3 to 5 years the leadership meets to review industry challenges and conduct an environmental scan. Based on the findings, the board develops strategies to advance the window cleaning industry, and deliver added value to members. IWCA is unique among organizations with its focus on research, safety, standards of excellence and advocacy. Each element is intended to advance the success of members.
This summer the board honed the mission statement, set four goals, and developed fresh strategies to span several years. Members will have access to the strategic plan on the website and at meetings.
Strategic Planning for Business
Every business can benefit by having a written plan. A plan informs employees of priorities and helps customers understand company values. To develop a plan set aside a day with company principles and senior staff. A flipchart and markers will be the best tool for recording decision.
These are the elements to include. The best plans span at least 3 years.
Environmental Scan – Start with a discussion of internal and external influences on the company. What might change in the next year? Any new challenges? Plans for expansion to new markets or offering new services?
Mission Statement – The mission statement is the purpose for existence. It identifies the company, who it serves and what it offers. It should have significant PR value.
Vision Statement - An aspiring statement describing the long-term desired outcome for the company. For example, the firm intends to be the best known and most respected in the marketplace.
Values – The guiding principles of the company; usually just 3 to 5. For example, customer care, employee value, safety first.
Goals –Goals are the core competencies or priorities of the company. Setting just 3 to 5 goals allows the company to focus resources. Goals might include: Public Relations; Market Expansion; Profitability; Employee Satisfaction. It is often said that goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Strategies – Strategies are continued and fresh approaches to achieve the goals. Generally a goal has 3 to 5 supporting strategies. For example, under Public Relations the strategies might include brand awareness, public relations and internet social media use.
Tactics – The specific actions to achieve the strategies and goals. Tactics will include assignments, deadlines and metrics. For example, the firm may desire a new logo that is designed within 90 days and a revamped website within 6 months.
Performance Measures – Consider adding performance measures to the plan. For example, profit growth over three years of 2 percent annually, or adding new trucks and employees.
The planning meeting should result in a document of several pages that the company management and staff can implement. Elements of the plan, such as mission and values, should be shared with customers.