Sales & Marketing Strategy: Planning + Delivery is Crucial

| 6 minute read
Tony Collett
Author Tony Collett
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Small and medium sized businesses (or SMBs) usually start when individuals or groups with talent and skills get together to form a product or service. They get established and grow because they can create or provide what their market needs. When such businesses start to scale up, deficiencies in business acumen often emerge. 

The complexity of scaling up often keeps businesses from reaching their full potential. Help with strategic planning can push an organisation past this barrier to enjoy continued growth.

What is SMB Strategic Planning

Strategy comes from a Classical Greek word that referred to high ranking officers in their various militaries. These officers had the responsibility of creating plans for victory. Officers would then employ tactical moves and decisions to carry out the plan and win the battle. 

Successful businesses create long-term plans on how to build toward the success they seek. While some lay out fairly simple and straightforward approaches, others can grow quite complex. 

Businesses need to plan. Plans can take proactive and reactive forms. A proactive plan, for example, looks at potential areas of growth and lays out how to achieve them. Reactive planning may anticipate shifts in the market or overall economy. Businesses looking to grow or seeking ways to best evolve while growing need the kind of focus that a good plan can provide. 

Even more important than the plan itself, SMBs need support and advice on how to implement the plan. They need to work out the tactics of how to successfully put the plan in motion and how to adjust it when necessary.  A plan without implementation is actually worse than no plan at all, due to the time and effort put into its creation, and the potential for this to be wasted. 

Why Should SMBs Seek Part-Time Specialist Help

SMBs often make common mistakes when it comes to strategic planning. First, many do little or no planning. When times are good, they figure “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and muddle through. The lack of planning means that they may be ill-prepared for economic downturns or market shifts.

Other businesses go to the other extreme. One can plan too much, coming up with idea after idea while trying to do it all on a grand scale. If done improperly with no thought to priorities, this can waste investments of time and money. 

Finally, some businesses can come up with a credible plan, but lack the will or means to execute it tactically. Specialists can help tremendously by translating a plan on paper into actions that bring successful results. 

When small businesses run into any of these roadblocks, they need strategic planning help.

How Part-Time Specialists will Help Your SMB

SMB owners often lack the business experience to create a strategic plan for success. Those with that capability may need to keep their primary focus on the goods and/or services produced. 

When in that position, consider a part-time specialist to serve as part of your business leadership team. Hiring a full-time executive can consume inordinate amounts of time and money that the business often cannot afford. Strategic planning and execution specialists brought in on a part-time basis provide the best middle road between little or no capable planning or an excellent strategist that costs too much.

Strategic planning help should also advise companies on how best to implement the plan. So many great plans sit in binders on shelves, collecting dust for years. They do no one any good unless put into action, when appropriate. Strategic planners can assist companies in figuring out how best to deploy resources or forge partnerships to achieve goals. 

Take stock of your business and its goals. Do you want to scale up, but are not sure how best to go about it? Could your business expect problems from market shifts and economic downturns? Do you find that the good ideas fleshed out in a plan or elsewhere never come to fruition because of a lack of time, will, or capability? If any of this rings true, you may need part time specialist help in strategic planning and tactical execution. 

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