The pandemic has forced many changes in the last year and the future is not completely certain. Have you thought about incorporating these changes into your business? If you want to have success next year you should be giving this serious consideration.
Creating an appropriate strategy will be most successful if you look at your business today, look into the future, then make a plan to create your future. Here are some of the things I discuss when helping my clients with a strategic plan:
1. Make sure you know what business you are in. Whether you are in real estate, construction and contracting, graphic design, or consulting you must define what you provide to the customer. For example, Kodak should have realized that it was not in the film business but in the image and impression sharing business. In real estate are you selling houses or assisting buyers in improving their lives? How has fulfilling those needs changed in the last two years.
2. Get in front of change. The best way to this it to look into the future, understand the trends and how they affect your business and move yourself into them. One example may be the use of webinars vs. in person meetings. While arguments can be made about current quality of delivery, getting your arms around it and having a strategy to shift will keep you leading. Remember, there was a time when a digital camera was not an alternative to high quality. Who would have thought?
3. Assess your business. Take inventory of where you have strengths in the market as well as where you are weak and vulnerable. Then use that information to look into the future to assess not just opportunities in your industry but also dangers and threats on the horizon. If you have done good business in an area where you know you are weak and you see new external threats on the horizon you may want to move away from that offering. On the other hand, look at new opportunities where you can exploit your strengths.
4. How do you communicate and market. The method and costs of marketing and communication have already changed drastically. Today, who looks to find something in the Yellow Pages? You need to embrace the new media. However, I caution you to evaluate and create a strategy first. Don’t simply follow the latest shiny new media application.
5. Understand diversity, culture, and generational differences. Different groups have different needs, communicate differently, and engage with your business differently. If you are doing well serving one group, learn why. Are the things that engage that group of no value to another group? Failure to understand the differences will result in increasingly lost revenue.
These steps are great starting points. Consider doing or updating your strategic plan. It is vital. If you fail to plan you are planning to fail.
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