How to better approach business strategic planning

Jan 29, 2024 | Business

Strategic planning is an essential yet often confusing process for many businesses and organisations today.

Leaders have a lot on their plates between economic worries, handling competitors, and keeping up with customer expectations.

Whether you’re reviewing existing business plans, starting fresh or looking for methods for doubling down on your planning, this guide discusses business planning strategies 2024 and beyond.

Commit to a strategic mindset

So many businesses find themselves locked in a habit of just looking at the next day rather than the next weeks, months, or years ahead. Adopting a forward-thinking strategic mindset is the cornerstone of effective business planning.

This involves shifting focus from day-to-day operations to a broader vision that encapsulates long-term growth and sustainability.

Monitor market dynamics, consumer behaviours, and trends in your industry closely and align your insights with your company’s core values and long-term objectives.

Long-term planning

Tying in with the above, a crucial aspect of business strategy is developing a long-term financial plan that balances growth aspirations with financial stability.

This involves setting realistic revenue targets, managing cash flow effectively, and planning for both expected and unexpected expenses.

A sound financial strategy also includes assessing funding options, such as loans, equity investments, or government grants, and choosing the ones that best suit the company’s growth trajectory and risk profile.

Regularly reviewing and adjusting the financial plan in response to market changes, economic trends, and company performance is vital to stay on track towards achieving long-term business goals.

Set clear goals and objectives

Setting clear, actionable goals is the essence of strategic planning.

This transforms the broad vision and understanding of the business context into specific, targeted objectives. It’s about defining what success looks like for your business and then mapping out the measurable steps needed to achieve these goals.

This process involves not just dreaming big but also grounding those aspirations in reality, creating a pathway that is both ambitious and achievable.

Explore R&D tax credits

R&D tax credits are well worth exploring for businesses focused on innovation and development.

These credits allow companies to claim back a significant portion of their spending on qualifying research and development activities, effectively reducing overall tax liability.

Data suggests that businesses collectively leave billions of R&D tax credits on the table – yours could be one of them.

To fully leverage this opportunity, businesses need to identify qualifying R&D projects, which often include developing new products, enhancing existing products, or creating advanced software solutions.

Keeping meticulous records of R&D activities, expenses, and staff involved is essential for successful claims.

Building a resilient supply chain

The last few years have witnessed Brexit, Covid, and geopolitical tensions rise amid the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the Middle East.

With inflation and a cost-of-living crisis here in the UK, supply chains have been rigorously tested.

Building a resilient supply chain involves selecting reliable suppliers and logistics partners and diversifying supply sources to mitigate risks, which could include rising costs or a low supply of the products you need to run your business.

Building strong relationships with suppliers and understanding their capabilities and constraints can also lead to more collaborative and flexible supply arrangements, strengthening the supply chain’s resilience.

Consider diversifying your product or service offerings to avoid over-committing to any one supplier, and build a larger contingency plan by putting money aside and investing it through ISAs and low-risk funds.

Foster a culture of innovation and agility

Aim to foster a culture of innovation and agility within your organisation. This means creating an environment where creative thinking, experimentation, and learning from failures are encouraged.

By empowering employees at all levels to contribute ideas and take initiative, companies can stay ahead of the curve, quickly adapt to new opportunities or threats, and improve their products, services, and processes.

Start by asking your employees more questions about the business and engaging them in decision-making. Leaders that listen to their workforce are much likelier to succeed than those who become detached.

Leverage data-driven decision-making

Leveraging data-driven decision-making has become essential for strategic business planning.

Virtually all accounting platforms, such as Xero, Quickbooks, and Sage, enable you to analyse your data, draw up reports, compare income and expenses, and delve deeper into your figures.

Simpson Wreford: Your partner in strategic planning

At Simpson Wreford, we understand the complexities of strategic planning for businesses, charities, and startups.

Our expertise can help you develop business strategies for long-term success, ensuring your plans are well-crafted and adaptable to the ever-changing business landscape.

Discover more about how we can assist in your strategic planning journey with Simpson Wreford.

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