The Details Are in the Plans
Sep 15, 2016
The details are in the plans. But many are opting out of plans because "...it prevents us from responding to opportunities that pop up..."
Strategic Plans Are Not Carved In Stone
Great strategic plans are living, breathing documents that allow you to sit down and evaluate what is working, what isn't working, what is going on that you expected and what is going on that wasn't expected. Then you can determine what modifications should be made in order to be properly positioned moving forward.
But not writing down the plan leaves everyone in your organization guessing as to what the plan is and what they should be doing in order to drive success.
Lack of a Strategic Plan Causes Waste, Failure
We always recommend a written plan because [a] if the leader with the vision suddenly leaves, you have no one with a vision and everyone will start chasing their own vision which is counterproductive, and [b] it's faster, easier and more effective to on-board new staff or external service providers if you can hand them the plan, let them read it and then sit down to address questions.
Dee Power and Brian Hill, authors of "Inside Secrets To Venture Capital" survey venture capitalists regularly to better help entrepreneurs. In their latest study, 28% of venture capitalists said the most frequent business plan mistake was a "Lack of Marketing Strategy. Entrepreneurs failed to specify who their customers would be and how they would communicate with them. (Source: Lack of Marketing Plan can be Fatal, Venture Capitalists Agree)
The Key to Success Strategic Plans
The key to success is to treat the plan as a living, breathing document. It can be modified but only when the key parties sit down and agree that the change is warranted and the proposed modification is the best course of action based on what's known at that point in time.
For example, we recently worked with a retailer that was forecasting sales via retail locations but they started to see online sales taking off. This had a huge impact on how they ran their business including supply chain, order fulfillment, merchandising and more.
They were able to look at their plan,and make specific modification - instead of doing X and Y, move the resource over so we can do A and B - in a more timely, efficient manner.
End result? Double digit growth...they blew past their projected performance goals and had the best year in company history.
Does your organization have a written strategic plan? Is it shared with everyone within the organization as well as key external partners so that they understand their role, how they impact success and can be "on the lookout for ways to exceed projections"?
If you answered "No" to any of the above, let's talk. We can help you develop your strategic plan so it can drive success.
Patrick McGraw is VP of Higher Educaton Marketing Services and has more than 25 years experience in market research, competitive intelligence, business intelligence including database marketing and CRM, strategic planning, brand development and management as well as operations/campaign management. His work has consistently helped his clients and employers develop and implement more efficient ways to attract and retain profitable customers, enter new markets and launch new products. His areas of focus include the education, hospitality, travel and tourism, hi-tech, telecommunications, financial services, and retail industries on both the agency and customer sides.