Planning your future success
How you can build confidence in times of uncertainty
Whether you’re about to start a new financial year, or just thinking about how your business can get ahead or stay ahead, you need to be confident about where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.
Although planning the future of your business is harder than usual, doing so now is more important than ever before. And we don’t just mean a few half-hearted thoughts about how you’ll move forward, or some simple projections from what’s been achieved in previous years. We’re talking about achieving a level of clarity that only comes from insight, rigour and a willingness to challenge everything about the way your business works.
Having a clear plan for your future is not only vital for your management team, it’s important to all those who are, or will be, engaged in your business. Employees, clients, partners and investors all want to know how you’ll deliver an inspiring future while minimising the threats that could derail growth and success. And everyone wants to know about the next 3 or 5 years, not just the next 12 months.
Like most agencies, you’ll now need to approach your planning in a different way, understanding what’s realistic to achieve in the new world in which you’ll be working and making changes to your business to give you the best chance of achieving your ambitions. So here are some ideas to help you along.
Future sources of business
Covid-19 has led to many changes in client businesses, affecting their requirements and expectations of agencies. And with a lot of reorganisations and redundancies, many client roles won’t exist or will be filled by new faces. So you’d be foolish to assume that your past revenue streams will continue in the same way. You’ll need to take a step back and be brave in assessing your services, client targets, positioning and communications. Then be bold in making the changes required to give you confidence in the growth and profitability you want for your business.
Profitability you can believe in
In the past, many agencies have run with business plans where profitability has been massively uncertain, only achievable when everything else falls into place. This risk game is no longer viable in the new era and high levels of profitability are now an obligation not an option. And here we’re talking about 25%+ not 10%. We’ve guided and pushed our clients to new levels of profitability and they know that getting to these levels takes much more than some simple refinements to staff and overhead costs. It requires some fundamental rethinking of structure and ways of working, challenging convention and finding new and better ways of doing things.
Visions not budgets
To thrive in this new era, please avoid getting trapped in the numbing annual cycle where all you do is make some mainly numerical forecasts for the year ahead, never embracing (or enjoying) the longer term strategic considerations that will make your business a sustainable winner. Instead, you should start with a 3 year vision for the scale, status, shape and feel of your business and then work back to where you are today. With this clarity about your longer term ambitions, your short term planning and decision making will be so much easier.
So, even though the world is uncertain, that’s not a good reason to avoid planning your future success in a proper way. We know from our client experiences that those that invest in developing a clear course through the challenges of the new era are far more likely to win in the future – and have more fun doing so.
HOW WE CAN HELP
Some well-informed, objective input will help ensure you have the best route to fulfilling your potential. You’ll be sure you’re not missing opportunities or taking more risks than you anticipate. We’ll help you understand what the new standards of success look like and challenge you to think deeply and act boldly in shaping a sustainable and highly valuable business.
Here are a few of the ways we could help you with your planning process:
- Business Assessment: we’ll review all key aspects of your business, identify opportunities for improvement and development when moving into the new era, and define a focus and approach for your future strategy and planning.
- Planning Process Mentoring: we’ll guide the work you do in developing your future strategy and plans, using and sharing all our knowledge and experience we’ll prompt and challenge you, adding new ideas and increasing your chances of a successful future.
- Strategy and Plan Review: where your plans are already well developed, we’ll provide an objective perspective, challenge your thinking, add new value and identify additional risks, or just give you greater confidence that you’re on the right track to realise you future success.
THE VALUE WE CAN ADD
Whether we work with you in the areas identified above, or in other ways that suit your skills and approach, you’ll benefit from:
- A deeper understanding of the standards required in the new era and how other agencies are taking on these challenges.
- A strategy and plan that will be clearer, stronger and more resilient in guiding your progress towards the success you desire.
- A higher level of confidence in your way forward, leading to faster and better decision making, smarter actions and less stress.