When we start writing our strategic plan for the upcoming year, we rarely manage to stay objective and focused on that year exactly. Somehow, and not surprisingly so, all experiences from the current year get involved and cloud our judgment and the idea we’ve initially set our minds to achieving. Regardless of who made the plan, whether it was done by a team of hot-shot over-performers or it was written and proofed through a series of committees, one thing connects them – the plan turned out to be irrespective of the nature, size of business or the industry it’s in.
Avoid these three nemeses and your strategic plan will be good to go:
- Don’t make it about this year
This year is just that – this year, and keep it that way. No matter what all went wrong all throughout it, you are moving into a new year and you need a new plan. Think of new year’s potential and all things you want to achieve. As for “problems” that occurred this year, make a list and come up with some tactical measures and ideas how to solve them in the future – don’t base your business’ future plan on them.
- Don’t stay focused on just what you know
This probably sounds a bit smart-as* and ridiculous but when you think about it – it’s true to a core. Think about it – apart from all things you do know will work and have worked in the past – sales, marketing, accounting, engineering, etc – there have been some unexpected shifts you had to deal with on the go because you weren’t prepared. If you dodged a bullet, that’s great – but what if next time you don’t?
So, think of things you know you don’t know. Will a new technology is entering the industry? Is market demographics are shifting? Is a new legislation is threatened? Any such notion may have a great impact on your business – and you need to land on your feet and think WHAT IMPACT. Make a strategic plan that will addresses those issues – this will only make it more robust, stronger and more likely to succeed.
- Don’t limit yourself to just great ideas
Great ideas without a proper action plan are unprofitable. It’s all rainbows and butterflies once the wonderful ideas lighten up the conference room but what happens when they stay exactly there?
Learn how to act on everything you and your team set as a goal. Otherwise, there’ll be no progress.
Once you’ve eliminated all these aspects of bad strategic plan making, it’s time you focused on what you should do.
1) Analyze Your Content
In creating a brand new plan, you need to have all necessary data about your business so you could know which direction to take in the future. This argument seems a bit contradictory to the nemesis #1 but hear me out: knowing what works and doesn’t work for your business if far different than basic the whole plan on mistakes you’ve been making throughout the year. So, some of the questions to ask yourself are: What content was shared/liked/re-tweeted the most? What got us more page views? What were our customers most drawn to? What days was there the most engagement? And so on. Analyzing your content is one of the most important steps that will help identify changes you need to make in your content marketing strategy for 2015.
2) Identify Your Goals
Naturally, all businesses’ goals are to make revenue and succeed. But, you’ll never have a successful business unless you challenge yourself and set the bar higher each time. Now that you’ve established what all you and your teammates can do, it’s time you identified your new goals. The goals don’t have to be exceptionally difficult to achieve – you may start with simple things and move onto bigger ones – develop your Facebook or Twitter page, learn how to engage with your audience, increase your following, come up with effective audience triggers and so on. New plans will get you going and will bring success!
3) Implement Your Plan!
Remember what we said under nemesis #3? Well, exactly! All you have to paper so far needs to be set in motion now! Get active as soon as possible – try implementing a plan-tryout and see how it will work – there’s still space for improvements!
Basically, all business success depends on you and how you handle it – and the beginning of all success is a great idea, a quality team, and a strategic plan that you can rely on. And now you’ve got the idea how to make it!
Diana is a full time mom of tw beautiful girls interested in topics related to marketing, business and personal finance. Useful information for this article has been kindly provided by www.cubicpromote.com.au.