Newsflash: It’s January. If you are just now sitting down to review your strategic planning and marketing for the year you are behind the eight ball. With that said, better late than never, so do not let that keep you from doing it.
This month we are featuring some blogs with best practices for you to consider that will establish the ground rules for success this year, and every year. Part I will help you get started with your Strategic Planning.
Taking the first steps in strategic planning can be a significant challenge for most business owners due to the time required to do it properly. It can seem overwhelming. The truth is, unless you have the time set aside, the planning will not happen on its own. Your business will run with or without your direction. Without strategic planning, your leadership turns from proactive to reactive. Not exactly supportive of your goals.
Start by picking three consecutive days. Make the decision to block out all other appointments. You will need uninterrupted time to discuss, think, plan, and write out your goals and the subsequent strategic plan for the year. Once you get started, you will want to keep going. Strategic planning can be fun and exciting when you have the time to think things through and get it on paper.
A critical part of this first step is assembling a team. It may be time to hire a business strategist for a strategy review and a fully updated business plan. Business Strategists are great for asking the right questions without getting emotionally involved. The strategist will be able to tell you if your brand is strong and how to strengthen it. You will need a strong brand, especially if you are B2B.
A skilled Business Strategist will perform a SWOT analysis and walk your business through a detailed discussion of the following:
Defining your customer profile in detail directs your marketing efforts and narrows the field for your sales staff as well. Sales staff can better describe and identify the perfect customer to prospect on your behalf.
You will need to make a final format of this plan with input from your CPA, attorney, and Business Certified Financial Planner (CFP) so they can understand how to guide the decisions you will be making throughout the year. Have your past financial statements handy. Use financial professionals to help set the business goals based on a combination of past performance and potential future growth by using real forecasting models.
Your goals will indicate when you should recruit and hire for future growth in order to be ready for when it happens. Strategic planning also points out when capital investment might be forthcoming. For example, you will need to understand how investing in a new technology might affect your sales and how to prepare for it. This requires an established business plan, especially if you need to invest equity or borrow funds to finance the growth.
Before you move on to the next step, communication of your plan, pick dates for working on the business plan for the following year. Here is a hint.
Don’t wait until January.
Sharing your marketing plan with us will allow Chameleon to help grow your company through our services. We represent you through inside sales, professional telemarketing, and database management. Contact us today to discuss your goals for 2018 and beyond.
Our next blog covers the topic that will make or break your organization: Communication.