Getting smart about business planning and performance management
Running a business comes with many demands, big or small, and requires focus and attention on various areas. As a result, focus can be heavily placed on the day to day tasks while the long-term planning is pushed to the side.
This can have a negative impact on your business and lead to an array of problems such as leadership indifference, confusion among employees, uncertainty of position within the market and lack of unity, to name a few.
To ensure business growth and productivity, it’s important to have a strategic plan.
You should think about what you wish to achieve in the long-term and strive to set out a strong foundation which guides you, your business and your employees. That way, you can be in the ideal position to handle any change, opportunity or challenge that may come your way.
Incorporating these six areas into your strategic plans can help realign your focus for future success.
#1 Shareholder investment strategy
It’s important to understand what your priorities, objectives and overall vision is when building your strategic plan. That way, once you are completely sure of what you wish to achieve, you can then share this with your shareholder, board and management team. Having clarity and everyone aligned will make it easier to reach your overall purpose and goal.
#2 Customer value proposition
Customer value proposition is an effective product marketing activity which brings together customer intelligence, competitive insight, and product valuation. It provides a focused approach to understanding the target user in the context of your product.
If you can define your customer value proposition and focus on developing the company’s sales channel management model, your business will be able to generate new opportunities and customers.
#3 Business operations
It’s important to look within your business and embark on a programme of financial optimisation. This will include methods of improving efficiencies, reducing costs and maximising return on capital and investments.
You should also bear in mind that optimisation doesn’t just occur when issues arise but can be optimised based on changing factors within the market or based off recent technological advancements too.
#4 Management and organisation capability
Management mindsets should be taken into consideration to understand how open they are to change and whether they are willing to try new ways of working, incorporate a new direction or if they are set to sticking with tried and tested approaches.
Creating the right culture that involves openness and inclusiveness will be vital to achieving objectives.
#5 Finance and Risk
Once a realistic strategy is in place, move to putting plans into action and managing them efficiently.
This involves adopting the most appropriate key performance indicators (KPIs) to check and track progress along the way. It’s essential to identify and rigorously measure your business’s KPIs around areas such as profitability, return, strength, liquidity, and market share to name a few. Make sure these are also documented in periodic board and management reporting packs to keep staff involved in your progress.
#6 Bringing it all together into a business plan
Once you have followed the above steps, you can encase the entire approach within a clear, logical and practical three to five year strategic business plan. It’s important to make sure that although your plan may be created, you should revisit it every so often as internal and external variables will change throughout time.
By using smart strategies that take a methodical and streamlined approach to addressing business issues, the more likely you are to succeed in growing the value of your business.
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This article was written by Helen Parker and Joe Carr , Business consulting director and partner at Mazars.
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