Whatever your business visions are, it pays to document your endeavours in writing. Strategic planning is an organised management process where you can clearly outline goals, set KPIs, track progress, enhance learnings, get actionable insights and focus your resources.
These objectives shouldn’t be discussed vaguely around a meeting table once a year, they should be diligently and repeatedly documented for optimum results.
If your business doesn’t value the importance of documenting its workflow, visions and timeline in an accessible written format, here is why it should and how to go about it.
What are the benefits of having a documented growth strategy?
A documented growth strategy is a place where objectives, plans, dates and progress are finalised and tracked in an organised manner. It is a document that can be shared with the whole team to give a sense of direction and ensure everyone takes a unified approach. This will save confusion time and/or money in the process.
What’s more, according to statistics around one in every three companies who are leaders in their industry lose their status within five years. However, with a watertight documented strategy in place, you can fight the odds and be more likely to surpass your own achievements year-on-year.
What should a documented growth strategy include?
The make the most out of your documented growth strategy, there are certain basics you should cover. Whatever type of strategic plan you are creating – whether it’s a one-month strategy for a client’s campaign or a five-year business growth plan – here is a checklist of what must be included:
Before you do anything else, you must clearly outline your goals and what you want to accomplish throughout a campaign, for example. This is essential for having an understanding of what you, your team and your business must achieve, and will help you to streamline your approach.
Not having a clear idea at the beginning is like falling at the first hurdle, and whatever you try and achieve from then on won’t be effective or successful.
For example, if you are a digital company which sells fitness products in Australia and the aim of your campaign is to increase conversions for an e-commerce store that sells fitness equipment, your goal might be to get people to buy a treadmill in Australia.
Target audience/customer demographic
If you don’t know your audience, you won’t be able to reach them. In your documented growth strategy you should detail who exactly you are targeting – their background, their age, their interests, their location, etc. This will help you to engage with them and attract them to your business and services.
You may also choose to include a budget outline in your documented strategy plan if your actions require an element of funding. This will help to outline the bigger picture and stay on track with all the aspects of the plan.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are a vital part of your business processes. Without them, you won’t be able to witness the performance of your campaigns and therefore won’t have any actionable insights for improvement or alternate approaches. You should distinctly outline your KPIs in your documented growth strategy alongside your goals.
This is the meaty bit – the plan. You must then detail your actual approach and what actions will be taken to achieve the set goals. This wholly depends on your business, your industry, your expertise and your services, but your actions could include:
- An audit of your or your client’s current marketing campaigns
- Assessment of your or your clients existing content (metadata, content gap, style and voice)
- Content creation and delivery for your business or for a client (i.e. written blog posts, graphic design, etc.)
- Commencement of social media campaign for your business or for a client
Whatever you plan to do, make sure the plans are set out in a step-by-step format so that they read like a checklist. This way, it’ll be easy to follow and nothing will be missed.
It is imperative that you create a content calendar to accompany your plans. It will detail the key dates throughout the month/year when the plans will be implemented. For example, if you’re working for a client your calendar should show the all-important beginning and end of the campaign.
Your calendar should also note any other important dates and holidays that are occurring in the timeframe. This will make your team aware of any obstacles that could have a knock-on effect on deadlines or performance results.
Having a documented growth strategy is crucial for ensuring efficiency, effectiveness and optimum results. It is a best practice that all businesses – whatever industry – should adopt, as it will mean that goals are clearly mapped out. Team members can then recognise the strategies and work towards them effectively.
By getting into the habit of mapping out goals, budget, KPIs, plan and calendar you will have the opportunity to grow your business, expand your market reach and increase your revenue. Take advantage of this business process tip today!