Published: May 27, 2019
From Hannibal defeating the Roman army to the startup of Apple in the face of IBM and Microsoft, history is dotted with stories of David versus Goliath face-offs where an underdog competitor wins out thanks to a superior strategy.
But whether you’re looking at pivotal battles of opposing armies or the fierce competitiveness of the business world, one factor remains a constant. When an organization is faced with an external challenge, it invariably increases its chances of success when it gathers and leverages as many quality insights and implications as possible — and forms a strategic plan that adequately takes into account these early warning indicators.
What Is Strategic Planning?
In today’s hyper-competitive business world, a strategic plan is the process an organization employs in allocating its resources to effectively pursue and successfully meet its business objectives. In this manner, strategic planning serves as a type of enterprise-wide guide for the setting of priorities and the focusing of energies across the business so that common goals with intended outcomes are established.
In addition, it’s critical to consider that when businesses embark on costly campaigns and endeavors without the guidance of a strategic plan, they expose themselves to the likelihood of unwanted surprises and disruptions — from both external and internal sources — that can derail their ability to succeed in their market sectors.
Evaluating Your Readiness for Strategic Planning
To effectively conduct strategic planning, you need to first assess your organization’s readiness. Doing so involves evaluating whether or not you possess the historic and current data you need to accurately recognize implications. Only when you understand the implications of specific market conditions, consumer trends and competitor actions can you adjust your strategic plan accordingly.
The following intelligence sources are highly useful in readying your business for strategic planning:
- Unlocking market research: Data from internal and external primary sources will enable you to take advantage of evidence-based intelligence that informs you about what your competitors are planning.
- War gaming: Play out hypothetical situations based on pure fact that lead to in-depth insights and accurate predictions.
- Leveraging competitive intelligence: From increasing your market share to cutting into your competitors’ margins, competitive intelligence based on primary research will allow you to plan for the future — with both your business goals and the changing needs of your customers in focus and balanced.
Strategic Planning Is an Ongoing Endeavor
Markets change, consumer trends evolve and competitors pursue new strategies and develop new products. To ensure you stay competitive and ahead of the pack, you need to embrace strategic planning as an ongoing part of your operations. By consistently ensuring you have the data you need to recognize the implications of certain developments, you can inform your strategy accordingly and stay one step ahead of the competition.
The end result is the creation of a business culture where opportunities for improvement are more readily recognized and the steps needed to enact positive change are more easily accomplished. It’s both a flexibility that extends to the very core of what makes a business successful and a commitment to always be on the lookout — even when things are going well — for the next disruptor and/or external warning indicator.
Proactive Worldwide — Your One-Stop Source for Strategic Planning Intelligence
With a combination of dedicated market experts and business analysts, our team at Proactive Worldwide is able to deliver the kind of timely insights and implications your business needs to effectively inform and guide your strategic planning for maximum impact.
Why wait until early indicators become a dire warning? Be successful by getting out ahead of your competitors — and staying there — with evidence-based strategic intelligence from Proactive Worldwide.
To discover what Out in Front® really means, contact us today.