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How strategic business planning can help you through 2020?

How strategic business planning can help you through 2020?

Every business operates with the goal of growth, but only a few manage to beat the competition at every curve. What keeps the winners ahead is a great business strategy which offers a realistic vision of the future and information that helps leaders make good decisions.

In the wake of COVID-19, we have witnessed the greatest digital transformation ever. Futuristic innovations we imagined a decade from now have become our current reality meaning businesses need to be more adaptable and address technology gaps. The luxury of testing the waters is long gone and businesses have to be agile in navigating the new normal. So, how can strategic business planning help you in the current climate?

Capitalising on digital changes 

While digital changes were already taking place, 2020 forced businesses to adopt new technologies quicker than usual. Examples include the replacement of cash with cryptocurrency and digital payment methods, MNCs shifting to a remote working model and retail stores turning to contactless home delivery.  Digital adoption challenges faced by businesses and educational institutes were apparent during the first stages of this change. 

Digital transformation happened at breakneck speed pushing forward 5G technology which is currently being tested by Verizon in their virtual lab. Data analytics have also surged ahead with big names like Microsoft, Salesforce and Oracle using it as part of their digital initiatives to create a safe environment for workers. Data-driven tools are being created using these analytics which will improve a business’s decision-making capability.

Adapt and innovate 

Companies need to realise the importance of digital technology and adapt their strategies to the current changes. Innovation is the key to progress and brands have to think outside the box to survive tough competition.

Failing to assess your business strategy during these times can cause your business to have the same fate as BlackBerry. Despite once being the most prominent business and personal communication tool with elite clients such as Barack Obama, the brand suddenly went into oblivion, all because it failed to incorporate the latest touch screen technology. Their attempts to innovate once again failed when they tried their hands at a voice assistant, three years after Apple introduced Siri. 

 A strong marketing strategy plan

Connecting with your audience through a strong marketing strategy plan is another essential that you should consider. In the mid-2000s, MySpace was highly popular and musicians like Lily Allen and Arctic Monkeys found fame using it. While MySpace turned its complete attention towards singers and bands, another social networking site took over. Facebook catered to the masses through a smooth user experience and currently has two billion users. 

Proactive strategies 

While strategic business planning can help you survive this period of uncertainty, it is bold leadership and proactive thinking that will help you truly thrive. A hurried response to sudden changes in the market can result in mistakes and thus you have to evolve intelligently. Some corporate-level strategies that can be of use are: 

  • SWOT analysis

A popular strategy used by many multi-corporates is SWOT analysis. In times of rapid change, no preparation is enough and so you need to conduct a complete strength, weakness, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis which includes understanding core competencies, detecting weakness, discovering new leads and lastly analysing all problems. Companies like Google, Apple, Dell and many more rely on this model to create strategy plans. 

  • Understand your customer 

As a corporate every strategy that you create must cater to the needs of your customers and ensure that you stay connected with them. Having a good marketing plan can be highly beneficial evidenced during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While most brands made the focus of their campaigns the importance of staying in, UK food retail brand M&S actively used their Twitter account to address all concerns and help customers during the tough scenario. Their posts ranged from food advice to tips on home-schooling and even countering depression. Meeting challenges with strategised marketing and displaying empathy was a good move by the brand. 

  •  Focus on employee training 

A company is as good as its employees and 2020 has brought to light the importance of upskilling and training your staff. Remote working, collaboration tools and more have become a norm now, but there is still a need for enhanced training programmes that will improve employee productivity and create a more flexible working environment.  

Professionals looking to make it big in the business management sector must be well versed in effective strategy making. Whilst you will need a proactive approach, a good programme can also equip you with all the other necessary knowledge such as the latest trends and developments in the field. Check out the Management Development Programme (MDP) offered by London School of Business and Finance which covers business and marketing strategy along with effective management skills. Click on the link to learn more. 

 This article is written by Nandita Kaushal.

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