Future Foresight: The Importance of Strategic Planning for SMEs

In business the market conditions change so rapidly that customer demand for many products and services that existed a few years ago is now no longer there. Proactive business owners should be constantly monitoring their own market environment to keep up with their customers’ needs and buying practices to be able to keep focused and head in the right direction, protecting the future success of their company.

Survival will rely on understanding exactly how to evolve, choosing a future before it chooses you, as it surely will. The only way to effectively respond to the external environment is to be properly prepared for what is coming your way, being crystal clear how it will impact your business and how you will adapt accordingly.

Businesses rarely make time for thorough strategic planning; it doesn’t happen in most organisations. Ever-changing trends and emerging technology call for some strategic re-thinking and re-setting of goals but with many businesses with their heads down pre-occupied with their current workload, planning often falls off the bottom of the list. This leaves them wide open to having any changes forced on them which then comes with the added pressure of quickly re-organising resource to accommodate the situation, also known as firefighting. Even worse, those businesses prospering in the current market conditions could find themselves no longer relevant making it impossible to survive at all.

It is the responsibility of your marketing department to keep their eye on the market forces, should the function exist within the organisation. This can be achieved through desk research and using the various models available. At nxo Communications we always advise using ‘PESTLE’ which helps to focus the influences that could impact your business under a variety of headings; namely Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental. There are some useful sector-specific reports available in the public domain, which can be a huge help. This, of course, does not replace a well informed, considered, documented strategy that is understood by everyone who works in the business. For that, many companies will need to seek advice from outside strategy specialists such as ourselves.

None of us can assume that the future will be ‘business as usual’ and should be always curious about what it holds for us, particularly for your own company. What kind of business do you want to be in the future, and could it adapt to the market forces? Interpret the changes now and understand what the implications will be for you and how your organisation will adapt based on that thinking.

Source: The Future of Business

By | 2019-06-18T11:49:07+00:00 June 18th, 2019|Marketing, News|