The Four Reasons You Need a Strategic Business Plan

Let’s face it…February is the time when our best laid plans, be they business or personal start to drift slightly.  Our good intentions to be more organised, disciplined and focused waiver under the day to day stresses of life so here at IMS Marketing, we thought now a good time to remind our followers of the top four benefits of developing an appropriate annual business strategy and sticking to it!

  1. It Determines What Success Would Look Like

In my role as Client Manager with IMS Marketing, I often ask clients what success would look like for their business in twelve months’ time. I am frequently surprised when they struggle to articulate what it is they want to achieve in concrete terms.   The creation of a strategic annual plan enables organisations to set clear goals for the year ahead.  These goals determine what business metrics get measured and reported on on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual basis. Renowned marketing guru Peter Drucker once famously said “What gets measured, gets managed!” and how right He was!  Every organisation needs to understand what metrics are important for them, based on the industry in which they operate, their size and specific stage of growth.

  1. It Engages Employees

In larger enterprises it is not uncommon for employees to be unclear as to their purpose within the wider organisation.  This can often lead to a lack of job satisfaction which is the most cited reason for employee departure.  Proper business planning helps reduce role ambiguity by assigning responsibility for the achievement of particular objectives to specific individuals or departments.  Explaining the overall company vision to employees and clarifying how their role contributes to its achievement not only increases engagement but enables individuals and teams to prioritise their workload in line with the business goals.

  1. It Determines What Resources are Required

In the absence of an annual business plan, many key business decisions become reactionary. Instead of hiring a new engineer in advance of a forecasted increase in demand, the hire is made two months later thereby limiting the organisation’s ability to capitalise on the upswing.  Proper business planning enables senior management to determine what resources (either human, physical or financial) are required in advance.  This proactive approach enables better decision making and more cost effective procurement techniques right across the enterprise.

  1. It Still Allows for Flexibility

While strategic business planning encourages company executives to be organised in approach, it does not and should not prevent them from investigating and capitalising on unforeseen or ad hoc opportunities that may present throughout the year.  Indeed the practice of strategic business planning should make executives more efficient therefore freeing up additional time to spend on blue sky thinking!  The discipline of formalising the company vision as a starting point for strategy development will also allow executives to more effectively rule in or out an opportunity based on its alignment with the overall strategic plan.

If you believe your business could do with some help creating and executing a strategic business plan for the year ahead, drop me an email to leonie@imsmarketing.ie to arrange a no obligation consultation.

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