Thursday, April 03, 2008

Strategic Planning - Finding the way forward

These days I seem to be meeting more people who feel strategic planning should take second place to improving sales right now. Unless your company is on the verge of bankruptcy, this opinion is completely misplaced.

Sales can be good or bad for your company. I've seen many situations where big increases in sales have nearly killed a company - and others where the sales that were added were to completely the wrong kind of customer. Both leave you with a bigger problem - that is, your company is bigger, but your problems are bigger, too.

Good strategic planning is about finding a way forward that does not leave you to the mercy of a sometimes capricious economy. In the last two recessions, we had many clients that used the pause in market growth to build substantially sturdier and more profitable businesses. Sadly, I met some people who chose the path of more sales instead of better strategy - and more than half of those people are now out of business. I now expect this to happen to companies that don't have excellent strategies - because recessions have a way of weeding out companies with poor strategy.

Which will you choose? A stronger, stable company - or a bigger, weaker one?

Consider contacting me for a short strategic planning tune-up - even if you already have a plan, you will probably find some valuable ways to improve profitability now.

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