The primary purpose of strategic planning is to help you chart the most effective path to growth. Most importantly, it helps you identify the major business drivers facing your business today. By understanding the business drivers that are impacting your business, you can identify the major growth opportunities that your company can take advantage of.
Many small businesses feel that researching for business drivers places unnecessary burden on the business for no good reason. But if implemented effectively, you will be surprised at how fast you can actually see actual results.
Understanding business drivers will help you identify options to increase your revenue and profitability. But many small businesses don’t know where or how to start.
Today’s Business Drivers
The main goal of research is to identify how to serve consumers with constantly changing needs and requirements effectively while optimizing costs. Business drivers are the biggest trends that affect us on a day-to-day basis and tend to fall into the demographic, geographic and technological arenas.
What you don’t know can really hurt your business. With today’s security landscape, every business has a critical need to identify, understand and measure the effectiveness of your company’s data security and recovery strategies. If you understand IT, offering security awareness training can help businesses mitigate against cyber attacks. If you are an insurance agency offering cyber risk insurance could be another revenue stream.
These shifts impact business in myriad ways; for example, this is the first time in history that five generations are working side-by-side. Each of these segments operate in different ways, many times causing unneeded friction in the workplace. Can your business help in making it a smoother workplace?
So what is a demographic shift? It can be population growth; for example, if you live in an area with large immigration into your area and you are in real estate, this can be a boon to your business, if you implement the right strategies.
The same can be said for geographic trends such as increasing urbanization and the ever-widening divide between youthful and quickly aging populations, not only here in America but also in many industrialized nations. We see the trend in other countries of a rapidly rising middle class. These trends are reshaping the world and can be a major driver for your business.
With the extensive growth of the internet across the globe, many foreign markets are growing at a significant pace offering numerous opportunities for American businesses. Even small business can take advantage of growing foreign markets. The Small Business Administration (SBA), Chambers of Commerce and many professional organizations are offering courses on how to enter and succeed in international business.
Today’s biggest drivers center on disruptive technological innovation which is creating huge challenges for each of us. Due to technological changes, we are dealing with more sophisticated consumers who are demanding much more of the businesses from whom they purchase. They can quickly provide positive or negative feedback in a very public forum online. The challenge is in developing new ways of clearly and positively communicating with this audience and persuading them to try our new products and services.
Do you know what drivers will impact your business? This may be the time to begin the strategic planning process to identify the business drivers that can increase your company’s profitability.
Diane Weklar, the Authority on Accelerating Business Growth, is the CEO of the Weklar Business Institute. She is the author of the award winning book, Mastering the Money Maze: 10 Secrets to Winning Business Financing,which is also an Amazon #1 Best Seller. This book provides practical insight to build a successful business and the practical steps to raise capital to help your firm grow. She can be reached at Diane@Weklar.com.