Do you have a strategy or plan for your business?
- January 21, 2020
- Posted by: IDMG
- Category: Strategy & Consulting
First and foremost let’s understand what a strategy or plan is and why having one in place is fundamental for your organization’s success. Strategy development, also known as strategic planning, is fundamental to creating and running a business. Simply put, it’s a game plan that sets specific goals and objectives but like any plan, it is capable of being changed especially in response to shifting market dynamics.
Set Goals, Share Them
Where do you want your company to be in two tears, three years, five years? You might have objectives, such as a larger more broadened product line up, growth plans, sales and revenue goals, profit targets, as well as other mini or large goals. Company goals are meant to be shared amongst the team, so that everyone involved understands and works toward the same planned path to success; don’t keep them to yourself.
Conduct a Market and Competitive Analysis
Do you understand your target market’s dynamics, which can include demographics and the characteristics of your target audience (how, when and where do they buy the product or service you offer). If you don’t already do this then it is a great place to start as this information is imperative to understanding what the market is doing and how you will fit into it. In addition, we suggest analyzing your competitors, gathering information on the 4P’s of marketing: pricing, product, promotion and placement. At IDMG, we like to know what our clients are up against competitively speaking so we can plan accordingly and adapt to the market while developing a solid competitive strategy.
Assess Direction and Threats
Do you know where your company currently stands? By knowing exactly where your company stands regarding current profits and revenues, you can then decide how to get where you want to go. If you are not where you want to be you must ask yourself the following questions. Are you networking with your target audience and other professionals, asking for referrals, advertising or sponsoring events to maximize every dollar? Have you recently done a SWOT analysis? This stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. By understanding these areas it enables you to honestly evaluate your firm’s strengths and weaknesses based on the market data you’ve gathered.
Put Your Objectives in Writing
By committing to and putting your company objectives and plans on paper this will give you numbers, and goals to strive for daily. Start by mapping out your strategic plan in writing monthly, then quarterly, and eventually annually. Do you meet regularly with your stakeholders, management team and employees, to review how you’re actually doing versus the numbers, and goals written in your strategic plan? This is crucial to succeeding and it is critical to ensure that everybody is working towards the plan.
The market changes constantly therefore your strategic plan should be reviewed at least once a year, preferably every six months, so you can update your plans accordingly and based on the information obtained.
The practice of business planning has been around for thousands of years. In fact, the New International Version of the Bible says “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” Many factors must and should be considered as you plan ahead. Answering questions regarding who, what, when, where, why and how enable you to hit upon the factors that will come into play in your business planning.
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