Now is the time to develop (or update) your strategic growth plan. While nobody has a crystal ball, positioning your company to be flexible and ready to capitalize on strategic opportunities, while growing your primary business sector is the key to succeeding in 2012 and beyond. The two most important strategies are flexibility and adaptability. In order to create both, consider the following suggestions:
· Focus on your company’s vision and mission. Are your company’s growth projections in alignment with your vision and mission? Do your leadership team and your employees perceive and understand your organization’s commitment to realizing the goals? If you are not 100%confident, re-invigorate your team to get focused and get on track.
· Review your company’s core values and perform an integration analysis. Are your business practices in alignment with your values? Does your company live those values with your customers, employees and vendors? If yes, celebrate and if no, work on getting on track quickly.
· Create a realistic assessment of where your company is and where you want your company to be in the next three years. Include strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in all primary facets of your organization. Consider getting a wide variety of feedback and input from various audiences. Review the feedback, decide which you want to integrate, what you will put on the shelf and discard the ones don’t work for your organization.
· Re-assess your company’s goals against your strategic plan and create quarterly milestones to achieve those goals. Primarily focus on financials, operations, performance, employee engagement and customer retention.
· Perform a competitive analysis, looking at traditional and upcoming competitors as well as possible disruptive threats. Unlike traditional advisors, we advocate using your competitor analysis more from an industry perspective rather than copying or stealing from your competitors.
· Develop several business scenarios that could be realized during the next three years. Focus primarily on the economy, globalization, technology, workforce and financing.
· Commit to innovating your product and services. Target a few key areas to improve and be sure there is measurable value in your improvements. Changing for the sake of changing without realized benefits will only derail for plan and de-motivate your employees and your customers. What can each person/group/profit center do to “stretch” beyond the norm? Create an action plan, measure the results and celebrate your accomplishments. Then commit to tackling the next area of be improved and developed.
· Create specific action plans, develop metrics and implement accountability processes to strengthen your weaknesses, bridge the gaps, manage and capitalize on the risks, and take advantage of the opportunities and strengths that both your company and the economy offer!
We are all learning to live in and succeed in this new world order. Concentrate on how you can organize your staff and your operations, to be energized and responsive to the fast-paced opportunities as they arise (or you create them).
Remember, the key to capitalizing on opportunities is to be prepared, the more planning, the more preparation the greater your company’s chance of success. Start planning now for how your company is going to grow and succeed!