Without excellent strategy, it is tough to survive in the market. A strategic planner helps you to plan your business well. He is the individual who can make a huge difference in the profit margin you're planning to cross. Read this story to know more about them.
"Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things" ~ Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645), legendary Japanese swordsman
Goal setting is an integral component of a company's expansion plans. It can be either a short term goal of one or two years or a long term aim, extended to five or ten years. With a sharp business acumen, keen insight about market and economy and excellent analytical skills, strategic planners help a firm to meet its objectives.
Indirectly, they help the top management, senior executives and board of directors, to chalk out strategies of expanding the business, growing the company and taking it to next level.
Job Description of a Strategic Planner
Strategies begin with ideas. To expand an idea, one needs analysis and creativity. To give creativity a practical shape, one requires planning. Planning is further strengthened by right management practices and using all the resources a firm has. Right planning when meets with brilliant execution leads to magic called success.
At the helm of all strategic management process, lies the brain of a strategic planner. In a corporate firm, he is the man who steals the show by his sharp wit, deep knowledge and out-of-the-box ideas to convert threats into opportunities. Job duties of strategic planner include:
Gather, organize, filter and store data for effective decision-making.
Keep a track record of what is going on in the industry, monitor competitive trends, suggest changes in plans to management and zero in on market opportunities.
Predict or rather through careful analysis, suggest ways as how business threats can be eliminated.
Improve internal business plans by doing proper market analysis and understanding of the outer market.
Strategic budgeting process and financial plans for firm's product development. Financial analysis is the key to distribute budget in a planned manner.
Strategic planners are the key people inside the management boardrooms who have a lot to say in terms of formulation of policies. They work directly with CEOs, management heads to plan best strategies. Business development or corporate development professionals are similar to strategic planners but with limited and specific role in a firm.
Education to Become a Strategist
There is virtually no limit on the extent and scope of education required for becoming a strategic planner. While a bachelor's and master's degree in business administration is vital to understand the basics of business and management.
An MBA from top B-schools helps in getting global exposure of the business world. In case you are willing to become a strategist, you have to spend sufficient time in an industry. You will find initial opportunities in strategic planning in many corporate firms, midway your career.
In the first five to ten years, you need to really work at different positions, understand the business and basic functioning. Further, you can read numerous books on corporate strategy and take some classes related to strategic planning in national and international level corporate training firms.
It is the best and brightest students from top-notch B-schools with significant work experience who are recruited by corporates as strategic planners. At entry-level positions, MBAs work as assistants to senior strategists and they help them in research and analysis work.
Strategic planners have a stronghold in the company's decision-making. It is the strategic planner's decisions that realizes the winds of change in market to take immediate action to adapt to changes. The way Apple Computers beats its rivals is not only through sheer technological expertise but also due to its excellent strategy.
Being a position of repute and value in corporate firm, strategic planners are paid very high salaries. If during the entry years, strategists can earn US$70,000, at the peak of their careers, it can reach up to US$200,000 or above!!
Strategic planning career can be said to be one the toughest and most rewarding careers in a corporate firm. But one has to identify the area of expertise before jumping into it.
In the recent years, for instance, the economy of Asian countries has shown brilliant results, game theory is becoming very popular, research & development in technology firms is at peak and so on.
One needs to identity a specific domain and must seek complete mastery in it. There are no mundane tasks in the work of a strategic planner. He is always one of the most dynamic individuals in a corporate firm.