Small Businesses Should Dump Strategic Planning
- by siteadmin
Strategic planning is a process that determines the steps needed to achieve long-term goals. This means that it can take several months or years before the benefits of strategic planning will be felt by a company, which may not sound like an attractive proposition to some entrepreneurs. However, if your business is serious about growing and you are already behind the curve on this issue, there are ways for small businesses to jumpstart their strategic planning approach.
Start with marketing The first element of successful marketing involves establishing where your current customers are coming from and prioritizing those channels over ones that have yet to yield any results. For many small businesses, social media marketing campaigns tend to bring in new customers more effectively than search optimization techniques do these days. Even if your company’s website is not as powerful as it could be, you can still utilize Facebook ads or Google AdWords to attract new leads, according to this article on Business.com.
Once you have a clearer idea of where your customers are coming from, you can begin crafting a more effective marketing strategy that brings in even more leads and drives up engagement levels too. The ultimate aim of any business is to turn those prospects into paying customers and then delight them enough that they continue to purchase goods or services long-term. Without attracting fresh leads into the sales funnel though, there will never be enough revenue to fund strategic initiatives for the future either.
Take care of the existing customer base Once your marketing approach has been successfully fine-tuned, you should start thinking about how to optimize the customer experience. Dissatisfied customers tend to spread negative word-of-mouth and can become a significant barrier for potential revenue in the future. Loyalty programs and discounts are popular ways of keeping existing customers engaged and happy, but they must be combined with personalization techniques that cater directly to the individual’s needs.
When it comes to finding out what your particular target audience is interested in reading or watching, consider looking into social media analytics tools such as Buzzsumo. This will provide you with an overview of your most shared content on Facebook and Twitter so far in 2015, allowing you to identify trending topics and interests within specific demographics quickly and easily.
Another important element here is to find out which social media platforms are most popular among your target audience. According to the latest data from Pew Research, Facebook continues to be the frontrunner in this respect, but Twitter’s popularity is growing among adults aged 18-29. If you already have a presence on both sites though, it could be time to start thinking about transitioning away from Facebook towards other networks that are more relevant for your business needs.
Prepare for change As business conditions evolve over time, it will become necessary to adapt any strategic plan accordingly in order to remain competitive. Trends come and go, but by keeping an eye on some of the latest developments as they happen (and as they relate directly to your industry), you can help future-proof your strategy as far as possible.
For example, wearable devices are becoming increasingly popular among the younger generation of consumers, which means that retail companies may want to invest in Android-powered smartwatch apps in order to stay relevant with their audience. However, it is important not to make any big changes or additional investments until your staff have had time to research this area further and find out exactly what kind of products are available on the market today.
Remember to analyze Although you can start looking at how you will monitor analytics moving forward while developing a marketing strategy, this should be given its own category due to its significance. Google Analytics is without question one of the most powerful tools for evaluating how users behave on your website and where they spend most of their time while using it. There are other free tools available too such as Crazy Egg and ClickTale, which allow you to track visitors in more detail.
However, it is also worth looking into paid-for alternatives such as KISSmetrics and Market Samurai for additional insight into your customers’ behavior. It can often be difficult to find a happy medium between different offerings until you have tried them out extensively, so try putting together a set of criteria beforehand so that the final choice is an informed one.
Most importantly, understand Above all else though, you must keep yourself up-to-date with the latest changes in your industry if you want to have any chance of success in today’s highly competitive marketplace.
Strategic planning is a process that determines the steps needed to achieve long-term goals. This means that it can take several months or years before the benefits of strategic planning will be felt by a company, which may not sound like an attractive proposition to some entrepreneurs. However, if your business is serious about growing…