The business world would be simpler if decisions could be made on impulse without giving thought to consequences. The savvy business leader however understands that this is not reality. Planning is necessary whether it be for growth or mitigation. While the list of different “plans” can be lengthy there are some that are key. Give thought to which of the following will be most beneficial to your company today.
The “business plan” will provide an in-depth look at the company and focus on how it will make money. Typically used during the startup of a business to attract financing and investors, it can also be useful as a roadmap during the business launch. It’s a good idea to return to the plan regularly to see where deviation from the mission and vision may have taken place.
An “operational plan” puts focus on the process of selling products and services. It can help determine more efficient methods to ensure the success of the business and answer the question, where can we do better? Use it to keep an eye on expenses and revenue in order to catch negative trends before too much loss is incurred. It can reveal how technology is affecting the business and uncover inefficiencies of IT systems and other tools used day to day.
The marketing plan will focus on getting the word out about your products and company. Rarely does this happen on its own, so a plan is required to ensure visibility in the market place. Besides traditional advertising, strategize on how to use social media most effectively. Since social media can be an interactive tool, be sure to define how to respond to reviews and concerns posted by customers in public. Today’s marketing relies heavily on big data and analytics which can reveal critical information about customer buying habits, demographics and industry trends. The end result of this plan should be a clear understanding of how to best use the funds budgeted for marketing and advertising.
Finally, a Digital Transformation plan will focus on new methods of engaging with your customers. How you sell and service to the consumer needs to keep up with today’s technology so include what equipment refreshes will be necessary, research on competitors campaigns and how your company may become the next disruptor in your industry.